In an attempt to boost India's infrastructure, the State Bank of India and Australian financial powerhouse Macquarie Group have floated a $1 billion venture fund dedicated to this sector. The SBI-Macquarie combine has also roped in International Finance Corporation, a World Bank arm, into the fund as one of the investors.

The Planning Commission estimates that India will need close to $500 billion in infrastructure investments in the next five years.

'Funding of this magnitude cannot be supported domestically alone and must be supplemented by other sources of capital,' R Sridharan, MD, SBI said. 'Traditional methods of debt financing must be supported with equity funding. And SBI aims to bridge this funding gap by establishing this fund and bringing in international expertise through our joint venture with Macquarie,' Sridharan said.

Times of India