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​UK scheme invests £200m in Macquarie infrastructure debt fund

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Macquarie has been awarded a £200m (€240m) mandate by an unnamed UK pension scheme for a new inflation-linked debt fund.

The indexed platform will look to match pension funds with infrastructure borrowers.

A first close is set for later this year, said chief executive of Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions James Wilson, who estimates that “several hundred million” could be raised.

Wilson said likely target areas would include the UK’s utility sectors, renewables and offshore transmission owners (OFTOs).

Macquarie, he said, had identified inflation-linked borrower demand of around £4bn in the three sectors, as well as more potential demand in student accommodation and social housing.

The fund will concentrate on investment-grade opportunities on a smaller scale, starting from £10m – for which there is more demand, Wilson added.

Macquarie managing director Andrew Robertson said the new fund should address the fact “borrowers don’t think finance exists, and investors don’t think assets exist”.

The decision to enter inflation-linked debt provision was, he added, a result of inefficiencies on the part of banks to cut exposure to inflation.

In yield terms, Macquarie estimates that, when passed through to pension schemes, inefficiencies of as much as 100 basis points are created.

The new fund will target average returns of 250bps above index-linked Gilts.

Investors in the fund will be paid semi-annually.

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