PA/05/20 8 October 2020
Australian investment funds look to India
Australia’s largest investment funds, collectively managing assets of more than AUD 736 billion (INR 38 lakh crore), today met with India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to explore investment opportunities in India.
The virtual delegation included several of Australia’s largest superannuation (pension) funds and the Future Fund, Australia’s independently managed sovereign wealth fund.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, The Hon Barry O’Farrell AO, said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there are real opportunities for investors in India.
"In responding to the economic challenges of COVID-19, we have seen India adopt fundamental reforms that have opened up its sectors to new investment," Mr O’Farrell said.
"There will be high growth in demand for infrastructure as India looks to support its economic recovery, presenting opportunities for Australian investors," he added.
According to the Willis Towers Watson Global Pensions Asset Study, Australia finished 2019 with the world’s fourth-largest pension (superannuation) market in the world, valued at AUD 2.95 trillion (INR 150 lakh crore).
Organised by the Australian Government and the NIIF, the virtual delegation follows in-person tours to New Delhi and Mumbai in 2018 and 2019 facilitated by the Australian Government.
The virtual delegation delivers on a commitment made in June between Prime Ministers Modi and Morrison, when they elevated Australia-India ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to raise awareness among Australian funds of the opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector with the NIIF.
Australian investors also heard from representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Confederation of Indian Industry on how recent policy reforms enable greater ease-of-doing-business in India.
"While Australian investors will make their own commercial decisions, increasing Australian investment stocks in India deepens our economic integration. The Australian High Commission is happy to support knowledge and network building among investors," Mr O’Farrell said.
"Australian funds are attracted to the NIIF’s model, which benefits from association with the Indian Government yet is independent in its investment decisions," he added.
In August 2019 Australian Super, Australia’s largest superannuation fund signed an agreement of up to USD 1 billion with the NIIF Master Fund. The agreement included USD 250 million in the Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to USD 750 million to build up to USD 750 million of transport, energy and urban infrastructure.
Australia-India two-way investment flows have doubled in the last five years to reach AUD 30.7 billion (INR 1.6 lakh crore) in 2019, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.