Despite the 2019 General Election, 56% of Indian business leaders are more interested in overseas deal making in the coming 12 months than they were in the past year, while only 11 percent are less interested. 33% of business leaders have the same level of interest.
And while Indian businesses are primarily looking for M&A opportunities domestically (42%), a quarter of respondents said the wider Asia Pacific region is their top target, with 16% looking to North America. This is something of a shift, as North America has until recently been a firm favourite for Indian companies looking to buy abroad, less so Asia Pacific.
These views were gathered as part of Baker McKenzie's Doing Business Globally survey of Indian business leaders at events in Bangalore and Mumbai. More than 200 of India's top business people were surveyed on their deal making sentiments, as well as the impact technology was having on their decision making.
In fact, technology was clearly a key driver of India M&A deals abroad, with 38% of Indian companies now saying that acquiring new tech and expertise was their number one reason for engaging in cross-border M&A. Access to new markets remains the leading reason for acquiring businesses outside of India (46%), while acquiring new brands/intellectual property was the key driver for 9% of respondents. Unlike many of the world's major outbound focused economies, access to raw materials and lower productions costs were not big deal drivers.
Commenting on the strong deal predictors in the Doing Business Globally survey, Baker McKenzie Asia Pacific Chair, Gary Seib, said:
"While this positivity around global deal making is great to see, it is particularly encouraging that India's ambitions are also shifting a little closer to home. While Indian corporates have traditionally looked to the US and Europe for M&A opportunities, including buying up high status brands and industrial and financial companies, many now also see the value on offer in Asia Pacific, particularly as different markets incubate their own technologies, and supply chains across the region can be readily built."
Pre-Election IPO Boom
Baker McKenzie also assessed recent IPO trends amongst Indian companies, and announced transactions likely to close in 2018, to provide a detailed picture of India's IPO market.
This shows that India remains one of the most active markets for IPOs globally, and at present is set to strongly outperform 2017 this calendar year.
In fact, capital raised YTD in 2018 is almost 400% the amount raised in the same period in 2017. By mid April last year, there were only 40 IPOs that raised USD 619 million, compared with more than USD 3.0 billion raised through 71 listings in 2018 so far.
If pipeline deals move forward for the rest of 2018, the total value of IPOs will be 34% higher than the capital raised in 2017, although there is likely to be a slight drop in the number of deals completed.
Key IPO Figures (as at 11 April 2018)
Commenting on the IPO boom, Ashok Lalwani, Global Head of Baker McKenzie's India Practice, said:
"This strong demand for capital is probably our most accurate indicator of the confidence and strength of the Indian corporate sector today. There is a strong sentiment amongst the Indian clients we speak to that while reforms have taken time and there have been a few other hiccups, the business community is quite bullish on the direction of India. While the election will throw up some uncertainty, this newfound confidence means Indian businesses will continue to seek out opportunities to grow, particularly through investments in new and complementary technologies."
Industrials and consumer goods & services are set to be the most active sectors in 2018, accounting for 50% of the total number of IPOs during the year. In terms of capital raising, financials, industrials and real estate are set to be the best performing sectors, accounting for almost 60% of total IPO value for the year. Financials, industrials and real estate will continue to be hot sectors as the pipeline deals in these industries remains healthy.
All Indian exchanges are set to have their best performing year for seven years with USD 12.4 billion set to be raised in 68 IPOs through dual listings on both the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange, while listing solely on the Bombay Stock Exchange are set to raise almost USD 2.8 billion and those listing solely on the National Stock Exchange are set to raise USD 487 million.
In the final question of Baker McKenzie's survey of Indian corporates, business leaders were asked which technology would have the greatest impact on their business over the coming 12 months.
Almost two thirds of respondents (64%) predicted AI/machine learning would create the greatest impact, far greater than the next most popular choice, big data (21%). It would appear the rise of the robots has reached India, and those looking to do and support deals involving Indian corporates should take note.