Australian, Canadian pension funds invest $1 billion each in NIIF

AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, will invest $1 billion each in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India’s Master Fund.

The agreements in this regard include commitments of $250 million each and co-investment rights of up to $750 million each in future opportunities alongside the Fund. 
This is the third round of investments into the fund, making it the largest infrastructure fund in India with assets under management of over $1.8 billion and a co-investment pool of $2.5 billion. 
Domestic investors HDFC Life and Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance have further committed Rs60 crore in this funding round.
AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers’ will now join the Government of India, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Temasek, the HDFC Group, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance and Axis Bank as investors in the fund. They will also become shareholders in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd, NIIF’s investment management company.
With this, NIIF Master Fund becomes the largest infrastructure fund in India with assets under management of over $1.8 billion and a co-investment pool of $2.5 billion, which will enable the fund to invest at the scale required for the large infrastructure requirements in India. The fund invests in equity capital in core infrastructure sectors in India with a focus on transportation, energy and urban infrastructure. The Master Fund, has a tenure of 15 years and is denominated in Indian rupees to suit the requirements of the infrastructure sector.
“We are delighted to welcome two of the world’s leading pension funds as investors in the NIIF Master Fund and as shareholders of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited, alongside other eminent investors. AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers’ are among the most respected infrastructure investors in the world and bring considerable global perspective and value to NIIF. Their significant investments demonstrate the international interest in Indian infrastructure and reconfirms the many strengths of NIIF, which positions it as one of the primary Indian pooling vehicles for global capital,” Sujoy Bose, managing director and chief executive officer of NIIF, said.
“NIIF's investment strategy aligns with the long-term and partner-oriented investing approach we have successfully used in other regions,” Dale Burgess, senior managing director, Infrastructure and Natural Resources of Ontario Teachers’, said.
 “A commitment to NIIF will substantially bolster Ontario Teachers’ presence in India, providing us with on-the-ground market insights and capabilities to be well-positioned in a large market with significant expected growth” said Ben Chan, Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific of Ontario Teachers.
NIIF is a fund manager that invests in infrastructure and related sectors in India. An institution anchored by the Government of India, NIIF is a collaborative investment platform for international and Indian investors with a mandate to invest equity capital in domestic infrastructure. 
NIIF benefits from its association with the government yet is independent in its investment decisions being majority owned by institutional investors and managed professionally by a team with experience in investments and infrastructure. NIIF aims to make commercial investments in the sector at scale. NIIFL manages over $4 billion of capital commitments across three funds, each with its distinct investment strategy. 
NIIF currently manages three funds with over $4 billion of capital commitments but with distinctive investment mandate. The funds are registered as Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The Master Fund: A fund focused on creating scalable sectoral platforms in core infrastructure and in collaboration with strong and reputed operating and financial partners.
Fund of Funds: A fund focused on anchoring and investing in credible and reputed third party managers with a strong track record across diversified sectors within infrastructure services and allied sectors.
Strategic Fund: A fund focused on investing in strategic assets and projects with longer term horizon across various stages of development.
The NIIF was set up in December 2016 with a planned corpus of Rs40,000 crore. The Indian government has 49 per cent stake in NIIF with the rest held by marquee foreign and domestic investors.