New Delhi: India witnessed a decline in private equity investments registered at USD 1.5 billion (over Rs 6,630 crore) in the first three months of 2011, with majority of deals happening in the infrastructure space, says report.

However, the deal value in the 2011 first quarter is much less than USD 2.2 billion during the same period last year.

"During the quarter-ended March 2011, the investment activity witnessed 96 deals totalling to USD 1.5 billion," according to the reports.

The higher deal value in the 2010 first quarter was mainly on account of a "few large sized deals" during that period.

"Although compared to the corresponding quarter in 2010, the aggregate deal value was lower in Q1, 2011, the number of deals were 50 per cent higher indicating continued deal
momentum that built up in 2010," it said.

Infrastructure sector attracted the highest amount of investment, accounting for around 40 per cent of the total deal value, E&Y noted.

In terms of deal numbers in first three months of 2011, retail and consumer products sector saw the highest count of 17 transactions, followed by infrastructure (15) and technology (12).

Private equity deals worth about USD 750 million were recorded in March, an increase of "nearly 120 per cent from February 2011". Infrastructure sector accounted for the highest share of 56 per cent in terms of total deal value last month.