gadkari: Will use future road projects for fund raising: Gadkari

The government is planning to use future road projects for raising funds, enthused by the response to bond issue by the National Highway Infra Trust (NHIT), Road, Transport, and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said Friday. He said investments in highway projects will offer good returns. He was speaking at the listing ceremony of NHIT‘S Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs), which was subscribed within a few hours of launch.

Gadkari said the listing of NHIT’s NCDs on Bombay Stock Exchange is historic as it marks the new dawn for people’s participation in infrastructure funding.

“We have reserved 25% of NCDs for Retail Investors. This round has been oversubscribed almost 7 times in just 7 hours of its opening. It offers an effective yield of 8.05% per annum with highest credibility,” he said adding that the minimum investment slab is just Rs 10,000 to facilitate Retail Investors (retired citizens, salaried individuals, small and medium business owners).

NHIT had raised Rs 1500 crores through NCDs, 25% of which was reserved for retail investors.

According to Gadkari, 26 greenfield expressways and several other projects are in pipeline which will provide more such investment opportunities for investors.

“More retail investors will take part in next rounds and gradually overtake institutional investors,” he said.

This is the first time that retail investors have been allowed to participate in fund raise against National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)’s road projects. Under the present model, NHIT purchases road projects from NHAI and then approaches retail and institutional investors to recover the expenditure involved in buying and maintenance.

The investors get a part of the earnings that these road projects churn out through toll income.

In the current round, NHIT raised Rs 3,800 crore to fund the purchase and operations of three road projects from NHAI. This amount was raised through a mix of bond issuance, private placement, and bank loan during the second tranche of asset monetisation.

The trust raised Rs 1,430 crores from a gamut of institutional investors including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board,

, Pension Fund, SBI Mutual Fund, Employee Provident Fund, L&T Staff Provident Fund, Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Karamchari Pension Fund, TATA AIG and Star Union Daiichi Life Insurance.

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