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NHAI to put functional highway projects under InvIT

Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019
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The Centre is finalising a list of functional National Highway projects that will be placed under Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) to be offered to potential investors.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will prefer brownfield projects over greenfield contracts for InvIT. The reason being that the former is less risky, as opposed to the latter, because construction work is complete and traffic potential is easier to gauge as against the new projects, which are yet to begin construction.

The projects that are being considered for the InvIT structure comprise nearly 80 percent brownfield (or existing projects) and around 20 percent greenfield (or new) alignments.

Under InvIT, three to four highway projects will be bundled together to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) or a trust to be offered to the bidders. The bundle in the form of special purpose vehicle (SPV) will then be traded on the domestic stock exchanges and its returns to the investors will be linked to the performance of the InvIT on the capital market. NHAI is expected to launch the first InvIT by December 2019.

The private sector has taken the lead in this form of fund raising. IRB Infrastructure Developers launched the country’s first InvIT in January 2018. IRB InvIT offered six completed road assets covering 3,000 km spread across five states and an average balance concession period of 16 years. The trust has 100 percent ownership of all six road assets.

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