MUMBAI: Tata Capital plans to launch an infrastructure debt fund to finance clean energy projects as part of a plan to double its lending activities in this area by next year, managing director Manish Chourasia said. “We are in advanced stages of discussions with partners and will be applying for relevant approvals once the plans are firmed up,” Chourasia told ET.Tata Capital will own about 49% stake in a company that will be floated to launch the fund, while its partners will own the remaining stake. The fund will be registered as a company and be modelled in the manner of a nonbanking finance company, according to Chourasia.The Tata group company has lent over Rs 5,000 crore to a combination of wind and solar energy projects. With the addition of the debt fund, the company plans to take its clean energy loan book to over Rs 10,000 crore.Infrastructure debt funds are popular as they enjoy tax benefits and are allowed more flexibility in terms of leveraging their capital, which makes them an attractive business for financial institutions to pursue.Chourasia outlined plans for diversification of the company’s green energy business activities.“We are also helping clients such as multilateral financial institutions in monitoring their clean energy investments and enabling companies to raise capital or identify potential M&A targets,” he said.The clean energy finance arm was fashioning itself as a green investment bank, according to Chourasia, who added that financial advisory and techno-commercial advisory would become key facets of its business.
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