Macquarie to launch new Latin American infrastructure fund

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Macquarie to launch new Latin American infrastructure fund

According to sources, Macquarie Group is planning to launch a new infrastructure fund targeting Latin American economies.

The head of Macquarie Funds, Shemara Wikramanayake, said last week she was excited about the potential of Latin America, and the bank was working with local partners to bring the fund to market. According to the sources, she said at the Latin America Australia Investors Forum in Sydney:

''We are looking at trying to develop a pan-Latin American offer for our investors. There's improved stability in a lot of these markets over the last decade to decade-and-a-half.''

She also said the bank was close to launching the fund, which would be a private unlisted infrastructure fund of a similar size to other infrastructure funds that Macquarie owns.

Mexico is Macquarie's main base in the region, with 40 staff on the ground. Macquarie already has a $1 billion real estate and infrastructure investment fund in Mexico, Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Trust, which has returns in the ''mid teens".

According to Ms Wikramanayake, Macquarie could also be interested in opportunities in Brazil and Chile. However, she cautioned that it was still challenging to finance large deals in the region.

In May, Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Trust I (MMIT I) announced the formation of Mexico Tower Partners (MTP), a joint venture that owns and manages a portfolio of wireless telecommunications towers with operations across Mexico. Based in Mexico City, MTP manages more than 550 towers and is Mexico's second largest independent telecommunications tower business.

The trust also announced the appointment of Mr. Jonathan Walbridge as Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund.

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