The Republic of Ireland is selling off national infrastructure assets to help reduce its debt mountain. Charged with the duty of managing the investments for the new Irish Infrastructure Fund is a familiar name to Asian and Australian investors, AMP Capital.
The new open-ended fund has a target of €1 billion with estimated annual returns of 13%, and Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund has already committed to invest €250 million
“The new fund is evidence of increased allocation to infrastructure by pension funds,” says Anthony Fasso, Hong Kong based CEO of AMP Capital International. “They’re taking advantage of better liability management and infrastructure opportunities in Ireland.”
Will Asian investors be interested in Irish infrastructure, a far away country whose reputation was tarnished by mal-investment in fixed assets, especially when there is so much need for infrastructure at home in Asia?
Fasso thinks there may be interest, believing that prices are now quite reasonable for the first-movers into this OECD nation; the infrastructure market of Ireland is well regulated; and the country has the support of the European Union.
Elsewhere, AMP Capital’s infrastructure business invests in other European businesses such as Thames Water and Wales & West Utilities. Globally, it manages A$94 billion ($97 billion).
Fasso envisages that the new Ireland fund will be picking up utilities assets such as water distribution, power generation and distribution, and social assets such as schools. He doesn’t expect it to invest in logistics or warehouses.