Australian investment bank Macquarie is planning a push into UK infrastructure projects after raising a $500m debt portfolio for the country and Northern Europe, it is understood.
The firm has created a special team in London to work on potential investments according to the Financial Times, which said a substantial proportion of its targets would be in the UK.
It said Macquarie will manage the debt portfolio on behalf of reinsuerer Swiss Re.
Infrastructure investment was a key part of the UK coalition government’s growth strategy, but recent figures suggest spending in the sector has declined by more than ten per cent in the past 12 months.
The government hoped pension funds would contribute about £20bn over ten years, with £2bn of that coming by the first half of 2013, but just £700m has been raised to date according to the National Association of Pension Funds.
Last month the Greater China Infrastructure Fund, a $1.5bn vehicle set up by China Everbright and Macquarie, was reported to have bought stakes in two private Chinese companies.
The fund is believed to have become the second largest shareholder in Zhejiang Wanna Environment Protection, which has eight waste incineration power plants and projects, after buying a $100m stake in the business.
A second investment is understood to have been made in a Shenyang-based water supply project in line with the fund’s mandate to invest primarily in the toll road, airport, renewable energy, waste-water management, and port and rail sectors.
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