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Xiao is based in Beijing and works with his Mumbai-based co-head, Anoop Seth. The two of them source infrastructure investment opportunities for the newly created wholesale AMP Capital Asian Giants Infrastructure Fund, which aims to raise $750 million.
The fund offers institutional investors access to diversified infrastructure investment in the growing economies of Asia, predominately focused on infrastructure projects in India and China. That fundÆs first investment was a A$50 million ($41.7 million) commitment to Indian road company Gayatri Infra Ventures, which is developing one toll road and four annuity projects and is bidding for further road projects in India.
Xiao joins AMP Capital with over 15 years experience in infrastructure development, operations and investment. His previous roles include China country manager of AES (a large US power development operating company) and CEO of AES China Generating Company, and China country head of Meiya Power.
Having senior people on the ground in China and India managing and sourcing infrastructure investments is crucial, says AMP Capital Investors global head of infrastructure Philip Garling.
ôA key part of our strategy in infrastructure is to strengthen our deal sourcing and asset management capability across Asia and Europe,ö he notes.
AMP Capital first established a presence in China in 1997 and has been investing in Asian infrastructure since 1994. It manages more than A$101 billion ($84.2 billion) in assets, including A$3.5 billion ($2.92 billion) in infrastructure investments in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.
The firm is the latest of several players that have introduced or are preparing infrastructure funds that target the big markets of Asia and the Middle East. Until last year, Asian deals were few, and were usually included in global products. But now the likes of Babcock & Brown, Global Investment Partners, Morgan Stanley, RREEF and Standard Chartered are offering Asia-focused infrastructure funds û ultimately following in the footsteps of AIG and Macquarie Capital Partners, the regionÆs two grandfathers of infrastructure investing.
AMP Capital has managed an India infrastructure fund since 1999. In China, it has teamed up with China Life Asset Management for the sourcing of deals. It also has an office in Singapore, established two years ago, to help find projects.
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Investors still favour private equity assets for their higher growth, better governance structures, and diversification potential.