ABP, Generali invest in new infrastructure fund

EUROPE – ABP, Generali and Oslo Pensjonsforsikring are among investors in a newly closed 422 million-euro pan-European infrastructure fund set up by Australia’s Macquarie Bank.

“The fund has achieved total initial commitments of 422 million euros from leading institutional investors,” it said. Investors include Dutch civil service pension funds Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Italian insurer Generali and Norwegian municipal pension plan Oslo Pensjonsforsikring.

Other investors in the European Infrastructure Fund include France’s Dexia Credit Local and Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

"We are seeing the emergence of infrastructure as an alternative asset class in Europe," said the fund’s managing director Jim Craig.

“Pension funds and other institutional investors are recognising that infrastructure investments, which have the potential to offer comparatively stable, long-term real returns, provide a highly desirable match for long-dated liabilities.

"Infrastructure assets display unique characteristics. Their essential and long-term nature, combined with strong competitive position, leads to stable and predictable consumer demand.

“Hence their cash flows can be more reliably predicted than those from other asset classes. This stability in operating cash flows can reduce the overall volatility of returns for investors," Craig said.

The bank said the fund is “the first fund of its kind in
Europe”. It added that the fund aims to deliver sustainable cash yields and moderate capital growth from a diversified portfolio of quality infrastructure assets.

Macquarie has almost 10 billion euros in infrastructure funds under management worldwide. Craig said the fund is expects to announce further acquisitions in the next 12-18 months.

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