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India’s SREI Infrastructure Plans $1B Fund

India’s SREI Infrastructure Finance is planning to raise $1 billion to invest in roads, power and ports, Reuters reported Thursday. The firm aims to raise $500 million in a first closing. SREI Infrastructure has already invested $200 million in India’s infrastructure via two similar funds.

(Reuters) – India’s SREI Infrastructure Finance plans to raise $1 billion through an infrastructure equity fund that would invest in areas such as roads, power and ports, a top company official said on Thursday.

The firm plans to start overseas roadshows from September, its chairman and managing director, Hemant Kanoria, said on the sidelines of a FICCI industry conference.

“We are looking at $500 million for the first closing. The investments will primarily be for roads, ports and power,” Kanoria told reporters, adding that the first tranche would be raised in the next six months from overseas investors .

India requires infrastructure investment of $1 trillion over the five years beginning April 2012, according to government estimates, with much of that expected to come from private investors.

Losses from poor infrastructure — from clogged roads to power shortages shave off an estimated 1 to 2 percentage points from India’s gross domestic product. The government has often missed its own targets for funding and construction as anything from land acquisition hassles to stifling bureaucracy crimp growth.

SREI has already deployed $200 million in domestic infrastructure projects through two similar equity funds raised from Indian investors.

The company may consider exiting some investments made in certain road projects.

“We have a portfolio where we do debt financing and also take equity investments in some projects. There is a proposition on our part to look at some dilution in the road sector,” Kanoria said.

He did not provide any details or a timeline for exiting the investment, however.

Shares of the company were down 2.86 percent by 3.24 p.m. local, standing at 148 rupees in a weak Mumbai market. ($1=46.18 rupees) (Reporting by Aniruddha Basu; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)