RInfra eyes bullet train pie, InvIT delayed again

Subsidiary Reliance Naval and Engineering plans rights issue

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RInfra eyes bullet train pie, InvIT delayed again
Anil Ambani along with wife Tina and son Anmol at RInfra AGM in Mumbai on Tuesday


Anil Ambani group company Reliance Infrastructure's (RInfra) plan to list road assets via Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) has got delayed by another quarter even as it is eyeing a slice of the upcoming bullet train.

Meanwhile, RInfra's arm Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd is planning to come out with a rights issue shortly.

"With regard to Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd, the mandatory requirement for change of ownership is what we've achieved with our 31% shareholding. We have the ability to increase our shareholding to 36%. We will be shortly announcing a rights issue, and through the rights issue we will have the ability to increase our shareholding," chairman Anil D Ambani at RInfra's Annual General Meeting (AGM) said on Tuesday.

However, he did not give details.

On plans to participate in Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, he said, "We are deeply engaged and involved with a number of Japanese companies through joint ventures and we will participate in this very ambitious Rs 1 lakh crore bullet train project."

Reliance Naval will also bid to build six submarines for Indian Navy. "Government is shortly going to award the contract for six submarines worth Rs 50,000 crore. With the acquisition of Pipavav (Shipyard), we are one of the only two companies in India strategically positioned to participate in Government of India's strategic partnership programme to build submarines. For the first time in India, private sector company will be actually building a submarine," Ambani said.

Meanwhile, the launch of Reliance Infrastructure's (RInfra) Investment Trust (InvIT) has got delayed by another quarter.

While addressing the shareholders, Lalit Jalan, chief executive officer of RInfra, informed shareholders that the company will come out with the InvIT during the quarter ending December.

Already, RInfra's InvIT has witnessed several revisions right from its size to launch.

As per the latest announcement, InvIT fund would now be of Rs 2,500 crore for seven road projects. Initially, RInfra had planned the fund size to be Rs 5,000 crore with a portfolio of ten road projects, which was trimmed to Rs 3,000 crore and seven projects.

Last month Jalan had said the company "proposes to launch InvIT of seven roads in the September timeframe. We should be able to complete (the InvIT) by September this year".

As per the initial plans, RInfra was to launch the InvIT for road assets in June but had to defer it due to weakness in the market for the latest instrument. This was despite its roads InvIT fund proposal receiving very good interest from potential investors.

Currently, there are only two listed InvITs in the country – one for road assets by IRB Infrastructure Developers and the other for power by Sterlite Power Grid Ventures.

On September 1, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects had submitted an application with Securities and Exchange Board of India to register its own InvIT. Its size could be in the range of Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 4,000 crore.

The company had to drop three highway projects due to clearance related issues from the government.

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