NETHERLANDS – ABP and PGGM, the two largest Dutch pension funds, have emerged as lead investors in a new ABN Amro infrastructure fund.

The bank has announced the launch and first close of the Infrastructure Capital Equity Fund, with investors making €500m of commitments. The target size of the fund, which will focus on Europe, is €1bn.

But an ABN Amro spokesman declined to disclose the size of the schemes’ investment or the identity of other investors.

ABP, the civil service fund, is already exposed to the area through an investment in funds run by Australia’s Macquarie Bank.

The new fund will target equity investments in Private Finance Initiative and Public Private Partnership-type projects such as schools, hospitals, prisons, toll roads, airports and ports, electricity and gas transmission and distribution networks, water and sewage companies.

ABN Amro said: “The fund aims to deliver sustainable cash yields and moderate capital growth from a diversified portfolio of quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services to the community, have a strategic competitive advantage and offer sustainable and predictable cash flows.”

“The assets being targeted by the fund are attractive to pension funds and other investors with a long-term outlook because they provide stable long-term inflation linked returns which provide for a highly desirable match for long-dated liabilities,” said Hans Meissner, chief executive of the fund. “Infrastructure projects often run for 30 years or more.”

The bank has more than 50 people working on infrastructure deals.