Business Standard

India rolls out red carpet for Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund

Lines up proposals for $80-billion investment in government securities and corporate bonds

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) to invest in India-illustration
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With an eye on Kuwait’s $350-billion sovereign wealth fund, India has extended proposals to the West Asian country for investing up to $80 billion in India through debt instruments. India has also offered stakes in some of its petrochemical projects.

In a bilateral meeting between Petroleum Minister and Oil Minister Mustafa Al-Shimali on Saturday, India invited Kuwait to invest in India through debt instruments such as government securities and corporate bonds. While the limit for foreign investments through government securities is $30 billion, the maximum investment through corporate bonds is capped at $50 billion.

Moreover, the two leaders discussed increasing oil imports, participation in various projects such as ONGC Petro additions (OPaL) and (OMPL). “In both these projects, India is expecting an investment of $300 million each,” said a senior official close to the development.

Moily also asked Kuwait to extend the credit period on crude  oil sales to 90 days from 60. “India has suggested us various investment tools. A lot of projects were also lined up for investments. We have agreed on so many things. Will finalise the details within three months,” Shimali told Business Standard.

For the OPaL petrochemical project at Dahej special economic zone, ONGC was looking for a foreign participation of about 25 per cent. ONGC holds 26 per cent in the venture, in which GAIL and GSPC are also partners. Meanwhile, Qatar Petroleum and Emirates National Oil Company were also interested in a 26 per cent stake in the Rs 6,000-crore OMPL. ONGC plans to keep 46 per cent in the petrochemicals venture, while its subsidiary, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL), would hold another three per cent .

Kuwait, which has a production capacity of 3.2 million barrels a day (bpd) of oil, plans to expand its production to 4 million bpd by 2020, Shimali added. When asked about the upcoming meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on December 4, he said: “It will be a normal meeting. We will consider everything regarding pricing and production, and I think it will keep production the same as now.”

Kuwait is keen to invest in infrastructure and financial sectors in India through its $350-billion sovereign fund. India was also reportedly looking for participation of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) in dis-investment of public sector undertakings.

CASH LURE

* India has invited Kuwait to invest in the country through debt instruments like government securities and corporate bonds

* Oil minister M Veerappa Moily and Kuwait oil minister Mustafa Al-Shimali discussed participation in various projects such as ONGC Petro additions  and ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals

* Moily has also asked Kuwait to extend the credit period on crude oil sales from 60 days to 90 days

* India is reportedly looking for participation of Kuwait Investment Authority in disinvestment of public sector undertakings

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