India’s infra fund eyes fundraise, seeks placement agents

The $6bn sovereign vehicle will seek third-party advisors to help it with its investment strategy, in collaboration with the ADB.

The Asian Development Bank is helping India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a $6 billion sovereign vehicle, develop its investment strategy in the energy and transport sectors and shape up its fundraising activities.   

NIIF has requested the ADB’s support in putting the fund’s operations in motion through the multilateral’s Technical Assistance programme, according to a project document filed yesterday on the bank’s website. The Indian government launched and seeded the fund with $3 billion in late 2015 in a bid to attract the domestic and international funding required to meet the country’s massive infrastructure needs.

The ADB programme will see the Manila-based lender help NIIF formulate and refine its investment strategy to address the country’s greatest financing bottlenecks, which could possibly be done by establishing several sub-funds. 

Last month, the UK and Indian governments agreed to create a £500 million ($649 million; €583 million) joint fund as one of NIIF’s first sub-funds. The India-UK fund, which targets green infrastructure, will receive up to £120 million from the two governments and raise additional capital from London-based investors. 

The ADB will also assist NIIF and its sub-funds with identifying a pipeline of viable and executable projects while searching for potential LPs in the new vehicles. As part of this, the bank has approved $1.5 million in technical assistance to help NIIF contract “experienced, third-party consultants and placement agents”. 

In addition to NIIF, ADB is also providing $1.5 million of technical assistance to Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund, a $1 billion investment vehicle run by the Southern Indian state which aims to boost infrastructure development and PPPs.