Vitham Readies India-Focused Credit Hedge Fund

Apr 30 2007 | 1:48pm ET

There’s a new hedge fund ready to play in the Indian credit market. Chicago-based Vitham Capital Partners is currently marketing its India Fund, a credit and structured finance vehicle, and is looking to launch its maiden offering with between $30 million to $50 million within the next few months.

Sandesh Mouli, Vitham’s general partner, said the firm is hoping to capitalize on India’s underserved asset class.

“India has attracted a significant amount of investment capital in the last few years in the equity and private equity markets,” said Mouli. “As Indian companies evaluate financing options, the credit markets continue to provide a highly attractive means to finance growth.  Compared to developed market issuers, Indian corporates are still in the benign stage of their credit cycle where their growth plans and corporate strategy are positive for both credit and equity investors.”

According to Mouli, regulatory policies and companies’ appetite for debt continue to fuel the growth in the India credit markets with over US$22 billion in issuance in 2006, and   Indian corporate debt issuance accounting for over 48% of Asian issues (ex-Japan) in Q1 2007. 

“We expect to be among the first to specifically address this market and underserved asset class," he said.

The firm is looking to bring on board another portfolio manager in conjunction with the fund launch and will also open an office in Bangalore, India.

Mouli, who was in New York last week and who will be making a trip across the pond this month to market the fund, said the firm’s strategy has indeed piqued investors' interest.

Mouli, who partnered with an unnamed portfolio manager to form Vitham last year, previously worked at DLJ Investment Bank focusing on high yield and M&A transactions.

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