India’s Sage Capital targets $1b fund in GCC, Africa

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India based Private equity firm, Sage Capital said it is currently working with reputed institutional investors from across the world to launch a $1 billion fund which will seek to invest in sectors such as health care and real estate, among others, in GCC, Africa and India.

Manish Kanchan, founder of Sage Capital told Gulf News that the fund is targeted to be rolled out in the second half of this year and at around the same time, Sage will also establish a presence in the Middle East market.

“We are evaluating several interesting opportunities across the region. The consumer theme resonates very strongly in all our target markets. Some of the sectors which we see as promising are health care, nutraceuticals, education and real estate,” said Kanchan.

“We think this could also be a great time to build a `real asset’ portfolio of operating companies/projects in real estate, mining, agriculture etc … Another very exciting investment prospect is technology in Africa,” he said.

Unlike the traditional sectors, technology solutions can be very easily replicated in less developed economies. “We see technology playing a strong positive role in empowering small businesses and consumers in Africa and GCC. Clean tech/renewable energy is another very powerful theme,” he said.

While global investors may be weary of investing in regional countries afflicted by political turmoil, there are several countries in the region which are untouched by the turmoil offering opportunities such as the UAE. “UAE is particularly a key focus market for us. It is unique, exciting and an ideal international business hub across all sectors. Sage Capital would love to be part of UAE’s success story,” said Kanchan.

According to him falling oil prices will certainly impact some nations which are largely dependent on oil revenues and will struggle to balance their budgets and in the short term governments could resort to cuts in spending. “But this could also be an exceptional time to build a `real asset’ portfolio with a long-term view. Furthermore, there will be a stronger desire across the region to diversify into other geographies/assets. This could prove to be an opportunity for experienced asset managers,” Kanchan said.

He said several large sized funds from India have been able to attract capital from the Middle East and the investment appetite ME for India opportunities were driven by the facts that the country continues to be an attractive investment destination. “There is strong optimism among the business community and people in general. Falling oil prices have given the government significant leeway in managing the current account deficit. Interest rates have peaked and should start coming down in 2015. Most economists expect India to grow at 6-7 per cent over the next 3 years,” Kanchan added.

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