GLOBAL - Indian investment manager Neev Capital is currently in talks with European pension funds to develop joint ventures to invest in infrastructure projects in India.

Neev Capital is looking to sign partnerships with private equity firms and large pension funds from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany, which are likely to invest directly in this asset class.

Christopher Walker, newly appointed senior strategic adviser, said: “The needs in infrastructure in Asia, as well as the current economic crisis in both the EU and the US, have created a large pipeline of opportunities for institutional investors such as pension funds.

“In addition, the fact local banks are still limiting their lending programmes for long-term projects such as infrastructure and real estate leads to important needs in foreign capital.”

Neev Capital is currently seeking to develop as many as 10 projects, including toll roads, airports, residential and commercial properties, retail construction and manufacturing companies.

Walker added: “There is the possibility to see some of our corporate clients in India to invest in similar projects in Europe in the future through joint ventures.

“However, the majority of capital flow goes to the other direction, as the return on investment for projects in Europe is much lower than in India.

“We see more than $1bn (€700m) of investment opportunities in the country, which, contrary to China, is still facing a lack of capital to finance the construction of new infrastructure and buildings.”

The investment manager may also decide to raise a fund dedicated to infrastructure and real estate projects in India in the future and will then target pension funds and other institutional investors.
Last year, the Indian government announced it would launch an $11bn infrastructure debt fund to build ports, roads and bridges.

The country plans to invest as much as $1trn in infrastructure over the next five years.