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Boost for capital availability for infra projects

August 2019
The State Bank of India (SBI) and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) have inked an MoU to boost availability of capital for infrastructure projects. The scope of the MoU includes equity investments, project funding, bond financing, renewable energy support and take-out finance for operating assets. The objective of this initiative is to aid in filling the gap at a time when the availability of equity and debt financing for infrastructure has moderated. On the sidelines of the signing event, Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI, said, “SBI and NIIF have joined hands to provide a suite of financing solutions to the infrastructure sector. The initiative will address concerns relating to the availability of equity and long-term debt funding options to large-scale projects, thereby stimulating infrastructure development.” Sujoy Bose, Managing Director & CEO, NIIF, said, “The availability of post-construction takeout equity and debt financing for developers and builders of infrastructure projects will play an important role in the infrastructure development cycle in India. NIIF’s partnership with SBI will allow us to design large-scale, long-term financing solutions to address this need.”

The initiative will help SBI and NIIF to review opportunities to unlock capital from operational projects, thereby creating room for fresh lending and addressing asset-liability mismatches. In addition to focusing on takeout financing, including through the IDF route, the partnership will explore new avenues of financing renewable energy projects.

In FY2018-19, SBI, through its Specialised Project Finance & Structuring Business Unit, extended financial assistance of about Rs 510 billion to 47 infrastructure projects; and during the current financial year, the bank has a robust pipeline.