“I am happy to inform you that Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Investment Fund (TNIF) has declared its first close with a total fund raising of $350 million,” Deputy Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam said here on Saturday.
The Deputy Chief Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of roundtable conference, ‘Innovative and Alternative Finance for Business and Infrastructure Development in India’ organised by World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), a Kuala Lumpur-based NGO, in association with United Economic Forum(UEF) Chamber of Commerce.
Alternative Investment Fund
Paneerselvam said TNIF, the first category Alternative Investment Fund approved by SEBI, was the first such initiative made by any state government in the country which provides equity and structured finance infrastructure projects with a revenue model. Highlighting the culturally strong ties between Tamil Nadu and Malaysia, Paneerselvam said, the state government has already identified, over two hundred Infrastructure projects, requiring investment of approximately $250 billion.
“Tamil Nadu has institutional structures, that can receive investments, through Sovereign Wealth Funds, and Sharia compliant funds,” Paneerselvam added.
The WIEF foundation, with the objective of strengthening the ties of Muslims and Non-Muslim communities through business engagements and discussions, has previously held it’s annual World Islamic Economic Forum in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, UK and UAE and for the first time conducts WIEF round table in India at Chennai.
The Deputy Chief Minister thanked WIEF-UEF association for choosing Tamil Nadu as investment destination with a target of 1 per cent of it’s overall Sovereign Wealth Fund Investments. “This would amount to $33 billion which would help the society and State at large,” Paneerselvam added.
Business friendly schemes
M C Sampath, Minister for Industries, Tamil Nadu Government, listed out various business friendly schemes available in the State. “Out of 98 Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) signed during Global Investors Meet(GIM) 2015, 67 projects are commissioned and the remaining are under various stages of implementation,” Sampath said.
Assuring the complete support of the State Government, the industries minister urged the investors to participate in the GIM 2019 to be held in January next year and explore the investment opportunities available in the State. Speaking at the event, Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman, WIEF Foundation said, Islamic finance is continuously gaining traction globally from a niche market of global banking to growing source of funding.
“Companies like Goldman Sachs and General Electric(GE) have been selling Islamic bonds in the past few years,” Musa Hitam said. However, Musa Hitam said, even with a large muslim population, knowledge and understanding on Islamic finance is fairly limited in India and in Tamil Nadu.
“This platform gives us the opportunity to reach out to as many people as possible and create awareness on Shariah compliant finance,” said Arif Buhary Rahman, Chairman, UEF Chamber of Commerce.
The round table conference had 4 sessions moderated by experts from finance and banking sector across the world, to discuss about various Shariah compliant investment products and opportunities for investment in India subject to existing foreign exchange and tax regulations in India.