Australian investment funds see opportunities in India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 08, 2020

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell AO   -  KSL

Look at growing demand for infrastructure here

Prominent Australian large investment funds are looking to invest in India, Australian High Commission in India said here on Thursday. The funds include several of the country’s big pension funds and the Future Fund (independently managed sovereign wealth fund).

The funds together manage assets of more than ₹38 lakh crore (A$736 billion)

This statement came after virtual meetings between representatives of Australian funds with India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to explore investment opportunities here.

“In responding to the economic challenges of Covid-19, we have seen India adopt fundamental reforms that have opened up its sectors to new investment,” Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell AO, said while adding that despite the pandemic, there are real opportunities for investors in India.

Australia-India two-way investment flows have doubled in the last five years to reach ₹1.6 lakh crore (A$30.7 billion) in 2019, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“There will be high growth in demand for infrastructure as India looks to support its economic recovery, presenting opportunities for Australian investors,” O’Farrell said.

According to the Willis Towers Watson Global Pensions Asset Study, Australia finished 2019 with the world’s fourth-largest pension market in the world, valued at ₹150 lakh crore (A$2.95 trillion).

Australia, India ties

Organised by the Australian Government and the NIIF, the virtual delegation follows in-person tours to New Delhi and Mumbai in 2018 and 2019 facilitated by the Australian Government. The virtual delegation delivers on a commitment made in June between Prime Ministers Nartendra Modi and Scott Morrison, when they elevated Australia-India ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to raise awareness among Australian funds of the opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector with the NIIF.

Australian investors also heard from representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Confederation of Indian Industry on how recent policy reforms enable greater ease-of-doing-business in India.

“While Australian investors will make their own commercial decisions, increasing Australian investment stocks in India deepens our economic integration. The Australian High Commission is happy to support knowledge and network building among investors,” O’Farrell said. He said Australian funds are attracted by the NIIF’s model, which benefits from association with the Indian Government yet is independent in its investment decisions.

In August 2019, Australian Super, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, signed an agreement for investment up to $1 billion with the NIIF Master Fund. The agreement included $250 million in the Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to $750 million to build up to $750 million of transport, energy and urban infrastructure.

Published on October 08, 2020

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