IIFCL, a leading State-owned diversified infrastructure lender, plans to open a branch office in GIFT City, the country’s sole international financial services centre, a top official said.

“We need to obtain RBI approval for IIFCL to open a branch in GIFT City. We plan to do it, and a branch will most likely happen this year. 

Then we will have a triad between Delhi, London (with its existing UK subsidiary), and the Gift City Branch. This triad will help raise resources in foreign currency at competitive rates and aid in infrastructure financing within the country,” PR Jaishankar, Managing Director, IIFCL, said on Wednesday.

Already, IIFCL Projects, a subsidiary of IIFCL, has a presence in GIFT City and is undertaking advisory business to help foreign investors establish a presence in India.

HIGHEST EVER PROFITABILITY 

IIFCL said on Wednesday that it has clocked the highest ever profitability numbers in 2023-24, riding on the government’s push for infrastructure development in recent years. 

The fiscal year 2023-24 also saw the highest ever sanctions and disbursements at ₹ 42,309 crore and ₹ 29,171 crore, respectively, by this infrastructure lender, which started its journey in 2007 as a government company.

For the first time, IIFCL’s profit before tax (PBT) surpassed the ₹2,000 crore mark to touch ₹2,029 crore.

The company’s profit after tax in 2023-24 touched ₹1,552 crore, which was 31 times the net profit of ₹ 51 crore recorded in FY19–20.

“We are confident of sustaining this profitability. Our institution is well set to continue this performance. Now we are able to address strategic and national importance projects in a more focussed way,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar said that IIFCL would continue to be guided by the philosophy of “growth with quality. “We have not compromised quality for growth. We hope to be a complementary lender. Indian infrastructure needs more lenders and products. Our results in 2023-24 gives us more strength to grow. We want to support government initiatives to push infrastructure and take on the role of the most preferred lender for infrastructure,” he said.

He also said that IIFCL is eyeing a 20 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in sanctions and disbursements for next three years.

ZERO NET NPA 

Jaishankar said that IIFCL has been able to improve its asset quality with a significant decline in the gross NPA ratio to 1.61 per cent (down from 7.6 per cent in the previous year and 19.70 per cent as of March 2020) and the net NPA ratio to 0.46 per cent, which stood at 9.75 percent as of March 2020.

“We will now aim to take net NPA to zero this fiscal,” he said. 

ECB, BLENDED FINANCE 

Pawan K Kumar, Deputy Managing Director, IIFCL, said that the infrastructure lender was exploring the possibility of raising external commercial borrowing (ECB). Indications are that the company would this financial year go in for ECB of ₹4,000-5,000 crore, depending on the market conditions.

Kumar also said that IIFCL is now engaging with multilateral agencies on blended finance. “We are going to be aggressive on blended finance,” he said.

Blended finance refers to the strategic use of various types of capital, such as grants, concessional funds, equity, debt, and other financial instruments, to mobilise additional private sector investment in projects or initiatives with social or environmental objectives. 

It combines public and private sector resources to address development challenges and achieve sustainable impact.

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