Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency, is looking for investment opportunities in Nepal’s Agro based industry

Encouraged by political stability in Nepal and the recent power trade agreement with India, Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency, has started consultations with Nepali private companies for debt and equity investment.

Speaking at a function organized by Franco Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kathmandu on Saturday, investment officer of Delhi-based office of Proparco, Cedric Joutet, said, “We have started discussions with Nepali companies on hydropower development, agribusiness, sustainable tourism, health care and education looking for prospects of investment.”

Asked about any specific context for their sudden interest in making debt and equity investment, Joutet referred to the power trade agreement recently signed between Nepal and India.

Joutet said he will visit Kathmandu frequently for consultations with Nepali companies. Proparco has its South Asia regional office in New Delhi.

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Cedric Joutet, (first from left) investment officer of ‘Proparco, France’ Group and French Ambassador to Nepal Martine Bassereau, (fourth from left) in the presentation program holding discussion with the Nepali private sector people. (Republica )

Proparco plans to invest US$ 10 million to US$ 100 million as debt and US$ 3 million to US$ 10 million in equity. The debt would mature in 5 to 20 years whereas Proparco will have less than 20 percent stake in equity investment and will exit after five to eight years after issuing Initial Public Offering (IPO). “Proparco is a profit-making organization but will not compete with Nepali banks and financial institutions,” said Joutet. “Any interested companies can approach us for debt or equity financing,” added Joutet.

Discussions are under way with five companies involved in the field of hydropower development and agri-business, added Joutet. Proparco has unlimited investment plan in Nepal, which includes plans to finance and provide technical support to a new business idea.

During the program, French Ambassador to Nepal Martine Bassereau said, “There are many investment opportunities in Nepal.”

About a dozen industrialists and members of Franco Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry had held discussions with Joutet.

Gyanendra Lal Pradhan, a hydropower developer, said a number of incentives for hydropower projects, including income tax holiday and import tax waiver would provide much favorable environment for foreign investors.

In recent months, foreign investors are eying the Nepali private sector for debt and equity financing as well to impart managerial skills and provide technical assistance indicating better prospects for the Nepali economy.

- Courtesy of Republica