Why is LEAP in news?
Asian Development Bank (ADB) is actively processing USD 500 million (about Rs 3,275 crore) as debt and equity funding for private infrastructure projects in countries, including India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand.
What is the fund?
The Leading Asia's Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) was established in March 2016. The fund is an infrastructure co-financing fund, expected to leverage and complement ADB’s existing nonsovereign platform to fill financing gaps and increase access to finance for infrastructure projects in the region. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has made a contribution to the fund.
What are the priorities?
The fund will provide cofinancing to nonsovereign infrastructure projects at different stages of development, including early stage, growth stage, and greenfield and brownfield projects.
It will support projects with strong anticipated development impacts and alignment with the strategies of ADB and JICA.
The fund will undertake project finance (nonrecourse or limited recourse) and corporate finance transactions, and will seek to support a range of private sector participation modalities including public–private partnerships, joint ventures, private finance initiative projects, and privatizations, as well as conventional project finance.
What kind of activities are eligible for the fund?
Eligible project types will include the following infrastructure subsectors:
energy, including renewable energy generation, energy efficiency and conservation, and natural gas transmission and distribution;
water and other urban infrastructure and services, including water, wastewater, and solid waste management;
transport, including road transport, water transport, rail transport, air transport, multimodal logistics, urban roads and traffic management, and urban public transport;
information and communication technology; and
The fund will extend ADB’s operations by deploying both commercial and concessional capital from the same fund, and cofinancing will be provided in the form of loans, equity investments, and mezzanine finance transactions.
Who is eligible to receive the fund?
The fund will provide financing to companies and projects, as well as to financial intermediaries (e.g., holding companies and local currency vehicles) where there is a link to Infrastructure (with the exclusion of private equity funds).
Eligible countries include ADB developing member countries that are also eligible for official development assistance (ODA) from Japan.
Who supports the fund?
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supports the fund.