SoftBank Says India Digital Demand Strong, Will Keep Investing
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. will continue to invest in India’s digital companies, undeterred by the recent plunge in Paytm, the online fintech giant it has backed.
The Japanese firm that has so far invested a reported $14 billion in India expects the digital market to keep booming on strong retail demand, according to Manoj Kohli, country head of Softbank India.
“There’s no market in the world that can massify tech as India is doing,” said Kohli in an interview on Bloomberg TV Friday. “That’s why our founder Masa believes in the Indian market and would invest in Indian growth,” he said, referring to Masayoshi Son.
Shares in SoftBank-backed fintech giant Paytm plunged to a three-week low on Thursday after a lock-up period for anchor investors expired, following its $2.5 billion share sale. For Kohli, this is a short-term issue as India’s digital markets get tested for the first time.
“I am sure in the long-term it’ll be a very large digital market,” he said.
Indian retail digital transactions have grown five-fold in the last two years, attracting U.S. tech giants such as Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. to the lucrative world of online lending and wealth management.
The Tokyo-based company that aims to invest $5 billion to $10 billion in India next year, has plans to increase its foothold and expects many more listings in the country’s equity market over the next 18 months.
“Softbank’s commitment to India is very deep because this is the best market in the world for massification of technology,” Kohli said.
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