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Adia Plans $4-5 Billion Investment in India's Gift City


Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), the UAE's largest sovereign wealth fund, is poised to establish a $4 billion to $5 billion fund in India's latest special economic zone, Gift City. The regulatory authority for financial services at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City has granted in-principle approval for Adia to set up the fund, making it the first sovereign wealth fund to invest in India via Gift City, as per Reuters sources.

With assets totaling $853 billion, Adia is one of the world's largest institutional investors. The fund had announced its intention to establish a presence in Gift City in July of the previous year. Adia holds the third position in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute's rankings, with Norway's sovereign wealth fund as the world's largest and China Investment Corporation in the second position.

The approval comes just ahead of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Abu Dhabi to inaugurate the BAPS Hindu Mandir. Modi has visited the UAE six times since assuming office, strengthening ties with India's third-largest trading partner. The landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2022 boosted trade between India and the UAE to $85 billion for the financial year ending March 2023.

Informed sources suggest that Adia could commence investing through the fund by the middle of the year, with allocated funds being invested in India over time.

Gift City allows funds established there to invest in Indian and foreign equities, debt securities, and other assets. Offering a 10-year tax holiday for companies, no taxes on fund transfers from overseas jurisdictions, and proximity to Indian markets, Gift City is positioned to become a "gateway for global capital and financial services for the economy," as stated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the recent federal budget announcement.

Adia and its subsidiaries are exempt from long-term capital gains taxes on Indian investments through a special provision introduced in 2020, applicable until March 2025. Adia declined to comment, and an email to the International Financial Services Authority (IFSCA), which regulates financial services in the hub, went unanswered, according to Reuters.

Feb. 12, 2024 12:51 p.m. 1493

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