CapAsia in $50m Kazakh electric utility deal

The CIMB- and Standard Bank-backed joint venture is funding the deal from its $262m Islamic Infrastructure Fund, which recently agreed to invest $20.5m in two wind farms in Southeastern Pakistan.

CapAsia has agreed to invest $50 million in an electric utility in Kazakhstan, marking the first investment in Central Asia for the mid-market focused infrastructure fund manager.

The Central Asian Power and Energy Company will use the $50 million to support improvements in its heat and power generation and distribution facilities, CapAsia said in a statement.

The company, which is also backed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, also sees the investment as a move that will improve its corporate governance culture and strengthen its business prospects, according to the statement.

CapAsia is making the investment out of its Islamic Infrastructure Fund (IIF), a $262 million fund jointly sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

“We see Kazakhstan as a primary market for IIF because of the government’s commitment to furthering private sector involvement in the provision and financing of infrastructure,” CapAsia chief executive Johan Bastin said in the statement.

The investment marks the second deal for CapAsia’s IIF fund in the last month. In March, CapAsia made a $20.5 million commitment from the fund toward the construction of two wind farms in Southeastern Pakistan.

The IIF is one of three funds managed by CapAsia, the other two being the South East Asian Strategic Assets Fund and the Asia Infrastructure Fund.

The firm has $485 million in assets under management and employs 18 investment professionals across offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok.