Marking his first visit to Oman, India’s 14th prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, hailed a preliminary agreement between the two countries to establish a $100 million India-Oman Joint Investment Fund focusing on investments in infrastructure and other sectors of the Indian economy.
“I would call upon captains of Oman’s industry and financial companies to invest surplus liquidity into key infrastructure sectors in India,” Singh said in opening remarks to the Oman business community at a reception in Muscat, the capital of Oman, on Sunday.
The joint investment fund marks at least the second such agreement entered into this year by the Indian government. In April, the State Bank of India signed an agreement with Sydney-based infrastructure giant Macquarie Group to start a $2 billion Indian infrastructure fund.
That same month, private equity investment manager 3i Group closed a $1.2 billion Indian infrastructure fund, raising 20 percent more than its initial target, while six other private equity funds totalling $6.2 billion are expected to come to the Indian market in the next 12 months, according to data from placement agent Probitas.
The India-Oman Joint Investment Fund will have seed capital of $100 million and will be monitored by a special panel that will oversee and streamline its operations, which are still in the planning stages.
The sum of these pools of capital currently amounts to only a small portion of India’s required infrastructure spending, which Singh estimated at $500 billion in the next five years.
The meeting was attended by the chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khalil Abdullah Al Khonji and executives of top Omani companies, according to local media reports.