Qatar SWF to invest in India’s national infra fund

The Qatar Investment Authority has made the third commitment for the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, following Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar Investment Authority  (QIA), the $256 billion Middle East sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest in India's INR400 billion ($6 billion, €5.27 billion) National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

The agreement comes as one of the seven signed between Qatar and India this week during Prime Minister Modi's state visit to Doha. 

“From investments to skills, health to tourism, leaders witnessed the signing of seven agreements to strengthen India-Qatar ties,” stated Vikas Swarup, Official Spokesperson at the Ministry of External Affairs of India. 

However, the announcement did not disclose further financial details and it is unclear how much QIA will invest in NIIF. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who chairs the fund's government council, has been calling on global private investors to contribute the remaining INR200 billion of equity. Recently he has courted support from Japanese investors with an “advantageous tax regime”, according to reports. The country is undergoing second-generation reforms to open up various sectors to foreign direct investment. 

Sovereign wealth funds including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority , Singapore's Temasek and Russian Direct Investment Fund, have reportedly expressed interest in the NIIF. 

The fund is also looking to appoint a chief executive, proposing an “outcome-linked” payment package as part of the incentives for recruitment. Local reports said Sujoy Bose, the global co-head for infrastructure and natural resources at the World Bank's International Finance Corporation, is the most likely candidate. 

The NIIF is set to be India's first sovereign wealth fund for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects, with an aim to mobilise up to $75 billion in investments. The government holds a 49 percent stake in the fund.