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Macquarie has been awarded a £200 million (€240m) mandate by an unnamed UK pension scheme for a new inflation-linked infrastructure debt fund, which will match pension funds with infrastructure borrowers.
Although UK pension funds have not yet widely invested in infrastructure debt, Macquarie predicts a significant increase in activity as banks are under pressure due to Basel III regulations.
Chief executive of Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions James Wilson, said:
"We expect pension investment into infrastructure debt to increase significantly over the coming year. This trend will be supported by institutional fund managers that have started investing on behalf of pension funds."
Wilson said likely target areas would include the UK's utility sectors, renewables and offshore transmission owners (OFTOs).
According to Macquarie, inflation-linked borrower demand in the UK could be around £4 billion in the three sectors, as well as more potential demand in student accommodation and social housing.
The fund will focus on investment-grade opportunities on a smaller scale, starting from £10 million.
James Wilson said that pension funds could achieve higher yields by switching from gilts or corporate bonds into infrastructure debt, which are relatively well insulated from the normal business cycle.
The new fund will target average returns of 250bps above index-linked Gilts.