Sumitomo Mitsui buys into NIIF-backed infrastructure lender

 Sumitomo Mitsui buys into NIIF-backed infrastructure lender

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a sovereign-linked alternatives investment manager, said Friday Japanese banking major Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has come on board as an investor in Aseem Infrastructure Finance Ltd.

NIIF didn’t specify the quantum of investment.

Aseem Infrastructure is a non-banking finance company for infrastructure lending that was incubated by NIIF through its Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF).

Aseem Infrastructure and its associate NIIF Infrastructure Finance (NIIF IFL), which is also an NBFC, make up the NIIF’s infrastructure debt platform and has emerged as a leading financier of infrastructure projects in the country. The two NBFCs have jointly disbursed over Rs 10,000 crore since April 2021.

The NIIF SOF, which holds a majority stake in both NIIF IFL and Aseem Infrastructure, invests across a range of sectors such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture and education.

Prakash Rao, Chairman of Aseem Infrastructure, said SMBC is the first foreign investor in the lender. “NIIF Debt Platform was set up with an intent to be a large-scale infrastructure financier with the ability to attract leading international and domestic institutions as partners in its journey,” he said.

Headquartered in Mumbai, Aseem Infrastructure received a certificate of registration from the Reserve Bank of India in January 2020 and is led by Virender Pankaj.

NIIF manages over $4.3 billion of equity capital commitments across its three funds – Master Fund, Fund of Funds, and Strategic Opportunities Fund, each with its distinct investment strategy.

The NIIF Master Fund primarily invests in operating assets in core infrastructure sectors such as transportation and energy. The NIIF Fund of Funds invests in third-party PE-VC funds while the NIIF SOF is a private equity fund that aims to build scalable businesses across a range of opportunity long but capital short sectors.

Vivek Sinha

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