Hastings Funds Management has agreed a partnership with India's Aditya Birla Group to invest in India's infrastructure.
The partnership will initially be focused on providing debt financing for existing infrastructure projects such as airports and toll roads through a dedicated Indian infrastructure fund.
According to Hastings Chief Executive Andrew Day, the companies have identified as many as 250 already-operating assets that may provide investment opportunities. Mr. Day said that the fund would aim to provide longer-tenured debt of 10-15 years to Indian infrastructure companies, freeing up local investors to fund newer infrastructure. He said he foresaw sovereign-wealth funds, pension companies and insurance firms in Asia, the U.S. and U.K. signing up to the new fund.
Mr. Andrew Day stated:
Until now we had really concentrated on selecting our strategic partner and putting the platform in place. Next, we'll start testing investor appetite.
Hastings already manages about 7.4 billion Australian dollars (US$6.9 billion) in infrastructure assets globally. It is eager to tap into the Indian market as it looks to expand its presence in Asia, where so far it has focused on South Korea and Japan.
The Aditya Birla group is a diversified conglomerate with a total revenue of approximately US$40 billion in year 2012. The group interests in sectors such as viscose staple fibre, metals, cement, viscose filament yarn, branded apparel, carbon black, chemicals, fertilisers, insulators, financial services, telecom, BPO and IT services.
Investors have started to return to India as the country's economy has improved following a period of slowing growth.