Samena launches India direct lending fund – exclusive

The Dubai alternative asset manager is planning to launch its first closed-ended credit fund in India.

Samena Capital, the Dubai-based investment manager, is looking to raise $125 million for its second Indian credit fund.

According to sources close to the matter, the fund is sector-agnostic and will focus on the direct lending space in India with an expected return of 18-19 percent IRR on an Indian rupee basis.

Despite being sector-agnostic, the firm sees particular opportunities in the country’s consumption sectors, structurally driven by a growing middle class. It will shy away from real estate projects because there has been too much capital chasing the sector in its view, thereby compressing returns.

The fund is expected to reach a first close with capital from anchor investors in the first quarter of next year and to reach a final close three months afterwards. It plans to fully deploy its capital within two years.

Currently, Samena Capital has an open-ended India credit fund launched in 2013 and delivering an IRR of 22 percent in Indian rupee terms. The fund has assets under management of $70 million currently.

Samena Capital is a principal investment group focusing on the subcontinent, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It has raised $1.1 billion in assets since 2008 and currently manages total capital commitments of approximately $700 million across three primary investment strategies: private equity, direct investments and credit.