Mumbai: Private sector lender Yes Bank plans to augment the size of its agri-fund by $25-50 million to $150 million and is scouting for a blue-chip overseas partner which it hopes to finalise within the next six months, a top bank official said.
The bank also proposes to broaden the fund’s scope of investment by including a few more sectors besides agri.
“We plan to increase the corpus of the fund from the earlier $100 million to around $125-150 million. We also plan to combine 2-3 more sectors besides agri,” Yes Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Rana Kapoor told PTI.
The private sector lender proposes to rope in a partner for the fund by early 2009. “We are also looking at the possibility of having a third investor such as bilateral and multilateral funds,” Kapoor said.
The bank’s plan now envisages combining sectors such as public health and social enterprises along with agri into a consolidated fund.
The rationale behind rewriting the agri fund’s script seems influenced by investors’ preference to not just be restricted to the agri-sector.
“We found that investors were looking for a larger and broader gameplan--they did not want to be restricted to just agri but wanted a broader play,” Kapoor said.
The fund would look at both, seed investment as well as growth capital in mid-sized companies with a turnover of up to Rs250-crore.
“Typically, our investment would be in the range of $5-10 million but I am not ruling out smaller investments,” he said.
Kapoor said social enterprises would include segments such as water, irrigation, micro-irrigation, healthcare and water sanitation.
“These enterprises should serve a social purpose besides being commercially viable,” Kapoor said adding that micro-financial institutions working with self-help groups would also be eligible for funding.
“There are enough investors showing interest. We have the knowledge and expertise to consummate transactions,” Kapoor said.