Infrastructure a solid performer for CPPIB

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said infrastructure returned 5.7% in the first quarter. The board in April bought half of Chilean toll road concern Grupo Costanera.

A C$1.5 billion ($1.15 billion; €900 million) transaction for a toll road operator in Chile helped the C$165 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to a 5.7 percent quarterly return on infrastructure.

The board in reporting its fiscal first quarter performance cited its April purchase of Grupo Costanera. CPPIB bought 49.99 percent of Santiago-based Grupo Costanera from Italy’s Atlantia.

CPPIB has C$9.5 billion dedicated to infrastructure, part of a C$28 billion private portfolio, according to the pension fund administrator.

Overall, CPPIB returned just 0.5 percent in the first quarter, with president and chief executive Mark Wiseman blaming “continuing uncertainty”. But despite market unease, CPPIB increased its asset base by C$4.5 billion from Q1 2011.

CPPIB, like Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), is a plan sponsor based in Canada with a committed direct investment programme.

In addition to Grupo Costanera, the board is part-owner of the 407 Electronic Toll Route (407 ETR), a privately operated tolled highway in Ontario. Westlink M7 in Sydney, Australia, is the third toll road held by CPPIB.

Fast-developing Chile is a target infrastructure market for CPPIB – Grupo Costanera gave the board its second holding in the country, complementing its electrical transmission company Transelec.