PRIVATE EQUITY | Tony Chua, India

ICICI Venture mulls launching $500mln infrastructure fund

India's ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of lender ICICI Bank, plans to launch a $500 million fund by July to invest in infrastructure projects, its chief executive said.

"In the private equity context I would put education (and) hospital as part of infrastructure, but there is also a big opportunity on serious infrastructure like roads, ports, power," Vishakha Mulye told Reuters in an interview.

India has made building of roads, bridges, airports and power plants a priority and expects private firms to fund half of a projected $1 trillion in infrastructure between 2012 and 2017.

India's diversified conglomerate Tata Group and private equity firm Actis aim to bid for $2 billion of road projects in India over the next five years as the country makes a major push to build highways.

"We have started putting together the team in place and we will probably approach the market very soon," she said, adding ICICI Venture would look at launching the fund at end-June or early July. ICICI Venture plans to tap domestic as well as international investors for the infrastructure fund, which will have an overallotment option of another $500 million, said Mulye, who joined the ICICI group in 1993.

View the full story in Economic Times.

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