最有看点的互联网金融门户

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国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

巴菲特将目光投向印度金融科技市场

国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

巴菲特将目光投向印度金融科技市场

沃伦·巴菲特的投资不仅能够让Berkshire Hathaway公司获得Paytm母公司One97 Communications 公司3-4%的股份,而且能够让巴菲特的一位助手Todd Combs加入董事会任职。

绰号"奥马哈先知"的巴菲特被认为是最成功的投资者之一,也是全球第三富翁。Berkshire的投资意味着这家印度移动支付公司如今的市值可以达到100亿美元(86.5亿欧元)到120亿美元之间。Paytm还可以借此加入由苹果、可口可乐、美国运通、沃尔玛和宝洁等公司组成的公司联盟,因为Berkshire持有这些公司的部分股权。Berkshire投资经理Combs表示,"Paytm给我留下了深刻印象,能成为其发展历程的一部分,我很激动。这家公司将改变印度的支付和金融服务现状。"

Paytm目前已经得到日本商业巨头SoftBank和中国阿里巴巴集团的支持。Paytm首席执行官兼创始人Vijay Shekar Sharma表示,"Paytm将通过金融普惠将5亿印度人带入主流经济,Berkshire公司在金融服务和长期投资方面的经验将成为公司的巨大优势。"Paytm工作人员拒绝透露Berkshire公司投资的确切数额。

快速增长的市场

巴菲特对Paytm的投资标志着Berkshire首次正式进军印度市场。瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)表示,这位87岁的亿万富翁一直不愿意投资互联网公司,但印度数字支付市场发展迅猛,目前价值为2000亿美元,到2023年这一数字将达到1万亿美元,让人无法视而不见。此外,尽管竞争对手包括Google Pay、Amazon Pay、BHIM和本地竞争对手PhonePe,Paytm几乎垄断了印度数字支付领域。

7月,Paytm宣布年交易数约为50亿笔,总交易额达到500亿美元(GTV)。Paytm最初就是通过钱包服务为交易客户提供支付解决方案,目前公司拥有自己的电子商务市场空间Paytm Mall。

全球金融咨询公司Gartner研究主管DD Mishra表示,"这(巴菲特的投资)表明了国际投资领域对印度持续发展的数字支付的未来充满信心。" "市场正在快速发展。投资者希望参与其中并从中获益。"。

Paytm是印度总理Narendra Modi在2016年推动非货币化举措的少数附带受益者之一。 非货币化推行的一年里,Paytm的用户数量从1.25亿增长到2.8亿。

Credit Suisse表示,虽然印度的绝大多数交易仍然通过现金进行(占交易金额约70%),数字支付在过去几年依然出现了大幅增长。

普华永道公司的金融科技专家Vivek Belgavi指出,"在金融科技市场,支付和电子商务之间的交叉领域吸引了人们的关注。"并补充说,金融科技现状表明,市场正向整合方向发展。

前路漫漫

Belgavi强调,尽管印度金融科技市场竞争激烈,但全球参与者仍然有机会。"经济的各部分是相互关联的。随着部分经济正规化,金融科技公司或更广义的金融服务企业将有机会进入细分市场,参与政府主导、与市场相吻合的一些举措。" 并补充说,现任印度政府支持数字经济发展。

管理咨询和研究公司Everest Group的首席执行官Peter Bendor-Samuel认为,除了Berkshire的金融资本,巴菲特的全球关系以及公司在业务方面的专业知识等其他因素对Paytm益处更大。"这一决策意义重大,各种完备的联系和董事会可以帮助Paytm大步向前。在金融技术领域,没有一家公司是孤立存在的,因此密切的联系非常重要。"

Warren Buffett's investment would not only give Berkshire Hathaway a three to four percent stake in One97 Communications Ltd, the parent company of Paytm, but also allow one of Buffett's close aides, Todd Combs, to join the board.

Buffett, nicknamed the "Oracle of Omaha," is considered to be one of the most successful investors and the third-richest person in the world.

Berkshire's investment means the Indian mobile payment company is now valued between $10 billion (€8.65 billion) and $12 billion. It has also allowed Paytm to join a coveted league of companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, American Express, Walmart and Procter & Gamble — all backed by Berkshire.

"I have been impressed by Paytm and am excited about being a part of its growth story, as it looks to transform payments and financial services in India," said Combs, Berkshire's investment manager.

Paytm already has the backing of Japanese commercial giant SoftBank and China's Alibaba Group.

"Berkshire's experience in financial services and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm's journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion," Vijay Shekar Sharma, CEO and founder of the Indian firm, said in a press statement.

When contacted by DW, Paytm officials refused to divulge the exact amount of Berkshire's investment in the company.

A rapidly growing market

Buffett's investment in Paytm marks Berkshire's first formal foray into an attractive Indian market. The 87-year-old billionaire has been generally reluctant to invest in internet firms but India's rapidly growing digital payments market, which will be worth $1 trillion by 2023 from the current value of $200 billion, according to Credit Suisse, is hard to ignore. Also, Paytm holds a near-monopoly status in the crowded digital payments sector in India despite the presence of Google Pay, Amazon Pay, state-backed BHIM and local rival PhonePe.

In July, Paytm announced that it clocked some 5 billion transactions annually and registered $50 billion gross transaction value (GTV).

What started just as a payment solution to customers for transactions through money wallets, Paytm now has its own e-commerce market space called Paytm Mall.

"This [Buffett's investment] shows the international confidence in the future of digital payments in India, which are certainly growing," DD Mishra, a research director at Gartner, a global financial advisory firm, told DW.

"The market is evolving rapidly. Investors want to be part of this journey and rake in the benefits," Mishra added.

Paytm is one of the few incidental beneficiaries of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2016 demonetization drive. In a year since demonetization, Paytm's users have grown from 125 million to 280 million.

Although a vast majority of transactions in India — nearly 70 percent by value, according to Credit Suisse — still takes place through cash, digital payments have also seen a massive growth in the past few years.

"In the fintech (financial technology) market, the intersection between payment and e-commerce is clearly one business area that attracts a lot of attention," Vivek Belgavi, a fintech expert with the PwC firm, told DW, adding that the present fintech scenario indicates that the market is moving toward more consolidation.

A long way to go

Belgavi underlined that although the Indian fintech market is highly competitive, there are still many untapped opportunities for global players.

"The different parts of the economy are fairly interconnected. As parts of the economy get formalized, fintech players or broader financial services players will have a way to access a segment and a number of government-led initiatives that also dovetail into the market," Belgavi said, adding that the incumbent Indian government is digital-friendly.

Peter Bendor-Samuel, the CEO of the management consultancy and research firm Everest Group, is of the view that more than Berkshire's financial capital, other factors such as Buffett's global connections and the company's expertise in the business would be even more beneficial for Paytm.

"It doesn't get any smarter than this," Bendor-Samuel told DW. "The connections and the board that they've assembled would go a long way for Paytm," he added.

"In the area of financial technology, companies don't exist in isolation, hence connections are important. So when Warren Buffett gives you a call, you listen," said Bendor-Samual.

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