UK – The pan-European infrastructure fund of Macquarie Bank Group, which is backed by institutional investors such as Dutch pension fund ABP, says it is on target to achieve €1bn before its final close later in the year.

The fund announced this week it had reached investor commitments of over €750m while it is on schedule to reach the €1bn mark.

The fund, which is managed by a member of the Macquarie Bank Group of Australia, called it a “significant milestone”.

The infrastructure fund calls itself a “wholesale vehicle targeting investments in infrastructure and related assets in European OECD countries”.

Since its launch in April last year, the fund has secured commitments of more than €320m from investors including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and HSH Nordbank of Germany as well as other institutions from Europe, North America and Australasia.

The funds’ earliest investors were Europe’s biggest pension fund ABP, Italy’s biggest insurer Generali, Dexia of France and CDP of Canada.

“Infrastructure is emerging strongly as an alternative asset class,” said Jim Craig, head of Macquarie Europe and managing director of MEIF.

“Pension funds and other institutional investors are seeing the potential in the unique characteristics of infrastructure investments which offer comparatively stable, long-term, real returns and provide a good match for long-dated liabilities,” he said.

The fund said it had already committed more than half of its funds, with investments in companies varying from UK utility South East Water and Arlanda Express, the Swedish high-speed rail service, to Brussels International Airport and the Wales & West gas distribution network.