SBI, Macquarie tie up for infrastructure fund

State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, has launched a joint venture with Australia's biggest investment bank, Macquarie Group Ltd, to fund infrastructure projects in India.

The fund has already raised a corpus of $1 billion (Rs400 crore), with international investors having committed $887 and is expected to raise up to $2-3 billion, the state-run bank said in a statement in Mumbai.

Macquarie and SBI will own 45 per cent each in the fund, with the remainder owned by International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's financing unit, which has committed $150 million. The two banks will also contribute $150 million.

''Investments will be made in traditional infrastructure assets that generate long term identifiable cash flows, and that exhibit essential service characteristics,'' SBI said.