UAE group creates $1bn fund to finance big-ticket projects in India

By Rajive Singh

DUBAI 31 October 2017: NRI-Emirati Investors’ Group, a newly formed private group set up by the Business Leaders Forum announced a US$ 1 billion fund to invest in India – a first such venture by Indian and UAE investors.

NRI Emirati Investors Group has been formed by Business Leaders Forum (BLF). The fund that reflects the maturity of the UAE’s private sector businesses and their appetite to fund large infrastructure projects in India that will help the South Asian country to accelerate its economic growth rate from 7.2 per cent this year to more than 8 per cent in the coming years, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The announcement was made in the presence of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Abdullah Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development and Mohammed Sharaf, Assistant Minister for International Cooperation, UAE,  at the inaugural two-day India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) that kicked off on Monday October 30, 2017, at the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai.

“This would be the largest such collective fund-raising programme by a private group of investors generating as high as US$1 billion for investment into big-ticket Indian projects and reflects the level of maturity of the UAE’s private sector businesses,” said Vipul, Consul General of India.

“This also reflects the fact that India remains one of the best investment destinations that offers greater and faster returns to investors while enabling our fast-growing economy. It is heartening to see that the UAE’s private companies are shifting their focus on Indian economy which is now one of the fastest growing in the world.”

The fund-raising by the NRI-Emirati Investors Group is inspired by the massive public sector investment being channelled by the UAE into India as part of the UAE Government’s planned $75 billion to fuel the growth of the Indian economy – the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) and one of the fastest growing economies on earth.

The announcement at the first IUPS – organised by the newly formed Business Leaders Forum (BLF) – reflects the organiser’s determination to make the event a fruitful business conference and meeting of resourceful minds that will result in increased flow of two-way investment into India and the UAE.

The NRI-Emirati Investors Group is an offshoot of the BLF – an organisation supported by UAE Ministry of Economy and the Government of India through the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India in Dubai.

Dr Azad Moopen, President of the BLF, says, “Unlike most business conferences that end up in discussions and without actions, we have decided to make IUPS a more interactive, meaningful and effective for all the stakeholders. It is therefore with pride, I can announce the establishment of the NRI-Emirati Investors Group and the development of a fund to the tune of US$1 billion for investment in India.

“It is now left to the project owners, governments of various states to come up with viable projects where this amount or part thereof, could be utilised as seed funds to lift the project off the ground and choose financial institutions and governments to arrange for the bulk finance for big-ticket projects. We urge governments of different states in India to engage with us for project funding – so that these events could become more meaningful.”

In terms of the quality of delegates, speakers and VIPs, the IUPS is the highest gathering of government ministers and officials and business leaders organised by the BLF – an umbrella organisation – representing the UAE’s private sector.

The high-powered IUPS takes place at the backdrop of a recent announcement of US$1 billion investment by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, into India and a few days after Lulu Group announcing Dh1.7 billion in a project in India.

Sudesh Aggarwal, Board Member of the BLF, Chairman of the IUPS Organising Committee, says, “The prestigious line-up of the high-level dignitaries reflect the significance of the issues that we are putting on the table for discussion which is so close to our heart.

“Following the announcement of the development of the $1 billion investment fund, we, at the Business Leaders Forum will not rest on our laurels – rather work vigorously to create new investment groups and investment vehicles to support the economies of India and the UAE.