NIIF's first investment: A $3 bn fund for logistics biz with UAE's DP World

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The government’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) said on Monday that it has partnered with UAE-based DP World to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India.

The platform will explore investment avenues in the ports sector, going beyond sea ports into areas such as river ports and transportation. It will also invest in freight corridors, port-led special economic zones, inland container terminals, and logistics infrastructure including cold storage, an official statement said.

“The platform will invest up to $3 billion (about Rs 195 billion) of equity to acquire assets and develop projects in the sector,” DP World said in a separate statement.

The partnership follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in May 2017.

"We believe that our expertise in building best-in-class logistics infrastructure, together with the NIIF’s local knowledge and government partnership, is the right combination to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in India," Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said in the statement.

The first close of the NIIF Master Fund took place on October 16, 2017 with contributions from a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and four Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs), namely HDFC Group, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Life and Axis Bank.

“NIIF, set-up to function as a major platform in India for attracting foreign investments, has made good progress. Following its first close in October 2017 on the fund-raising side, and now with its first investment, NIIF is making visible progress,” Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance said.

The NIIF is being operationalised by establishing three alternative investment funds (AIFs) under Sebi regulations. NIIF's proposed corpus is Rs 400 billion (around $6 billion). The central government’s contribution to the AIFs under the NIIF scheme wikll make up 49 per cent of the total commitment.

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