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IFC invests $21 million in SAMHI Hotels

The Times of India:  August, 2014

Chennai: IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $21 million in SAMHI Hotels through compulsorily convertible debentures.

This is IFC's first investment in the hotel sector in India. IFC's financing is expected to create 2,600 jobs across the company's various hotel projects in India. Of these, nearly 800 jobs will be for women.

With this third round of funding, SAMHI is expected to expand its portfolio by developing green field hotels and through acquisitions in Tier I and II cities. SAMHI has seven operational hotels in Greater Noida, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.

"This investment is an effort to strengthen the tourism infrastructure in India," Ashish Jakhanwala, managing director and chief executive officer, SAMHI Hotels, said. "Besides providing long-term financing, IFC will help us formulate environmental and social standards and adopt green building design principles."

"IFC's investment is an affirmation of the support it provides to affordable hotels in countries with increasing domestic travel and rapidly growing middle classes," Vipul Prakash, director for manufacturing, agri business and services, Asia Pacific, IFC, said.

"This project will generate jobs and create business opportunities for small and medium enterprises, contributing to economic diversification and sustainable growth," he said.

Globally, IFC has funded $2 billion to over 270 hotel projects. The hotel and tourism industry is a major contributor to employment, foreign exchange earnings and tax revenues in emerging markets.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, every dollar spent on travel and tourism generates over three dollars of economic output.