Temasek Holdings, the government of Singapore's investment company and Standard Chartered's private equity arm have joined forces to set up a new private equity fund focused on India. Called the Merlion India Fund it is 50% owned by each party.

It will have US$100 million to invest in Indian companies seeking growth capital. It will also invest in regional companies looking to expand into India. Both Standard Chartered Private Equity and Temasek will jointly manage the fund.

The move comes in the wake of the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement signed between Singapore and India, which is aimed at securing investment and economic ties between the two countries. According to the two managers India's strong macro economic fundamentals, purchasing power of its middle class and development of high value added sectors are the incentives to invest.

Managed out of Singapore, the fund's directors are S. Iswaran, Managing Director, Strategic Development at Temasek and Karam Butalia, the global head of Standard Chartered Private Equity.