Jamie Dimon says India optimism is ‘completely justified’

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Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Emily Elconin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON — JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon struck a bullish tone at the India Investor Summit, saying the optimism surrounding the country at the moment is “completely justified.”

“Look at this conference. I remember eight years ago or nine years ago we started with 50 or 75 clients. Now it’s 700 investors around the world, 100 companies presenting. I think the optimism of India is actually completely justified,” Dimon told CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan at the conference Monday .

India’s prominence on the global economic stage has steadily increased over recent years, particularly as Western countries look to diversify away from China.

It has led to a renewed interest in the country from investors; the NIFTY 50 benchmark Indian stock market index is up over 15% over the last year.

Dimon praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for jumpstarting the country’s business climate, highlighting policies that enable Indian citizens to get bank accounts more easily, simplifying taxes and boosting foreign investment.

The bank has increased its employee numbers in India from around 6,000 in 2005 to 60,000 today, Dimon added.

“The universe is [in India]. We’re not the only bank here, there are large other banks with a lot of people, but so is Accenture, McKinsey and obviously you have your local Tata, etc., so those things are driving optimism,” he said.

India became the world’s most populous country in April, with a total of 1.4 billion citizens, according to the United Nations. It’s expected to overtake Japan and Germany to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2030, according to S&P Global and Morgan Stanley forecasts, and Goldman Sachs expects it to be the world’s second-largest economy by 2075.

The U.S. is hoping to work more closely with India on manufacturing as it looks to shift away from China, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in February that he was committed to securing a free trade deal between India and the European Union. “It’s an important topic and I’ll get personally involved,” Scholz said after meeting with Modi in New Delhi.

In his interview with CNBC-TV18, Dimon emphasized that it wasn’t just a lack of confidence in China that was turning businesses towards India.

“It’s not just because of the complications with China, I think that’s an opportunity but some of this optimism would have been there anyway,” he said.

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