Infrastructure Development Finance Co. (IDFC) has launched a private equity fund-of-funds unit based out of Singapore, IDFC Capital Pte. Ltd. The unit has started raising a $500 million Asia-focused fund, reports Dow Jones Newswires. The fund is looking to invest in private equity managers focused on mid-market, growth-focused investments in Asian emerging markets, particularly China and India.
IDFC plans to commit $50 million to the fund and is expecting first close later this year. IDFC Capital will also allocate fund to some other Asian emerging markets and Southeast Asia. It will also look at other emerging markets such as Sub-Saharan Africa.
Veronica John, who was a portfolio director at CDC Group, will be the chief executive of IDFC Capital. IDFC has a private equity division, IDFC Private Equity, which manages $1.3 billion through three funds. IDFC also has a project equity arm, which manages the $900 million India Infrastructure Fund.
Another Indian bank that was looking to launch a private equity fund of funds was ICICI Bank. It was planning to raise a fund with initial size of $500 million which would expand to around $2.5 billion. But this was back in 2007, when the economy and the markets were in full swing.
Besides IDFC becoming the first Indian institution to raise a fund of funds, it will also become one of the few investing internationally. Several Indian fund managers seem to be looking for an international presence. IL&FS Investment Managers is raising a pan-Asia infrastructure fund with Standard Chartered, which made second close at $601 million.