IRELAND – Ireland’s €13.3bn National Pension Reserve Fund has been warned over potential conflicts of interests in its public-private partnership deals.

The International Monetary Fund suggested “that the NPRF avoid potential conflicts of interests in its investment strategy, which could arise in recently authorized (but not yet undertaken) investments in domestic private public partnerships”.

The comments follow the scheme’s increasing appetite to take on PPP investments such as possibly bidding for the new Dublin Port tunnel.

“The NPRF is keen to access PPP investments in Ireland provided the risk/return characteristics are commercially attractive,” said an NPRF spokesperson outlining the fund’s stance on public private partnerships.

“In that regard, NPRF participation in PPPs would only be on the basis that it is on an equal footing with other commercial participants. Because of this commercial approach no conflicts of interest arise.”

Earlier this year the NPRF offered to buy the nearly completed Dublin Port tunnel as part of its public-private partnership strategy.

The move came as European pension schemes began eyeing infrastructure for its stable returns and lower risks.

The purchase of the Dublin Tunnel would provide consistent revenue from its toll facility.

Some reports suggested that the fund had also offered to finance the construction of an Eastern ring road across Dublin Bay.