Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners has a man on the ground. Morgan Stanley has appointed an insider, Gautam Bhandari, to lead its investment activities in India, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Bhandari and his team will be based out of Mumbai. In May 2008, MSIP had announced the float of a $4 billion global infrastructure fund.

Most recently, Bhandari was based in New York with the firm's Investment Banking Division where he advised clients globally on M&A and financings in the engineering & construction, industrial Services and alternative Energy sectors. Prior to this, Bhandari was a senior member of the firm's Global Capital Markets group, focusing on structured financings, hedges and securitisations.

Sadek Wahba, global head of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, said: "Gautam's sector and emerging market experience, combined with his structuring and project finance skills, will be valuable as we make infrastructure investments in India, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. We are pleased to welcome him to the team."

With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure is part of the merchant banking division within Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Morgan Stanley Investment Management has US$605 billion in assets under management as of May 31,2008.

Infrastructure Boom in India

It was mid May that Morgan Stanley closed the Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners fund with $4 billion of equity commitments, exceeding the firm's initial target of $2.5 billion. Sadek Wahba, the New York-based chief investment officer and global head of the fund, and John Myers, the Hong Kong-based Asia head, also told that about 20% of the corpus will come to non-OECD countries like India and China. 

Infrastructure is increasingly attracting a lot of attraction. Global buyout fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), which recently decided to list on the NYSE, has said it is considering investing in infrastructure sector in India and China. The leveraged-buyout firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts said in an SEC filing that as a part of its growth initiative, it plans to expand into areas such as mezzanine financing, real estate and infrastructure. 

Goldman Sachs is raising a targeted $7.5 billion fund. As for India specific funds, Citigroup Inc., and Blackstone Inc are planning a $5 billion fund for India (of which Citi has already raised $500 million). Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. and State Bank of India are co-raising a $2 billion infrastructure fund, while 3i Group of UK has already raised a $1.2 billion fund. ICICI Venture is following suit with a $1 billion fund. 


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