China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved $150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund, the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects, a statement said today. The Board of Directors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) who met in Jeju in South Korea has approved $150 million equity investment to the India Infrastructure Fund, said a statement from the bank. The bank, in which India is a lead partner, has approved two loans and one equity investment totalling $324 million to support infrastructure projects in India, Georgia and Tajikistan. The Infrastructure Fund aims to invest in mid-cap infrastructure companies in India, and to expand the bank’s equity and loan deal sourcing pipelines in the private sector through its equity participation in this fund, the statement said.
This initiative will benefit local infrastructure development by enhancing private capital inflows from global long-term investors, such as public pension funds, endowments and insurance companies, it said. “Approving our first equity investment is another milestone for the Bank and will enhance our potential to source and fund high quality, private sector projects,” said D J Pandian, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer AIIB. “These three projects demonstrate a growing sophistication in our ability to support our member countries across different region,” he said. AIIB also approved loans to support transport and power projects in Georgia and Tajikistan.
Besides India, the bank has granted $114 million loan for the Georgia Batumi Bypass Road Project, which is the bank’s first loan to Georgia, co-financed with the Asian Development Bank. The project aims to improve regional connectivity and efficiency of road transport along the East–West Highway in Georgia. The project will construct a new, two lane road approximately 14.3-km long in a key section of the East–West highway that skirts the port city of Batumi. The bank has granted $60 million loan for the Tajikistan Nurek Hydropower Rehabilitation Project Phase I, co-financed with the World Bank (IDA Credits and Grants).
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The project aims to rehabilitate and restore the generating capacity of three units of the Nurek hydropower plant, improve their efficiency and strengthen the safety of Nurek dam operations. Th AIIB was officially established late last year with 57 founding members. With authorised capital of $100 billion, China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 per cent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 per cent followed by Russia 5.93 per cent and Germany with 4.5 per cent.