The Macquarie Everbright Greater China Infrastructure Fund (MEGCIF), sponsored by Macquarie and China Everbright, has announced its first close today, having secured $729 million to invest in core infrastructure projects in the Greater China region.
The fund will target investments in toll roads, airports, renewable energy, wastewater plants, ports and railways. These sectors are classified as “foreign investment encouraged” under Chinese government regulations, Macquarie and Everbright said in a statement.
MEGCIF has raised $479 million from institutional investors in Europe, North America and Asia, including Dutch pension PGGM and the Korean Teacher’s Credit Union, Korea’s second-largest pension scheme. Macquarie and Everbright have each committed $50 million to the fund. Both partners said that the fund will also have access to a further $250 million for co-investments.
“Raising nearly half a billion dollars for a first close we believe is a strong endorsement of our strategy, team and the distinctive opportunities that exist for infrastructure investors in China,” Ben Way, managing director of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, said in a statement. “Importantly, we have identified a strong and growing pipeline of attractive investment opportunities for the fund,” he added.
The fund, Macquarie’s maiden fund joint venture in China and Everbright’s first foray in the infrastructure space, is targeting a final close in 2012. Singapore-listed Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund has already invested in China’s Changshu Xinghua Port in 2005 and the Hua Nan Expressway in 2007.
Hong Kong-listed Everbright’s operations include direct investments, asset management and investment, corporate finance and wealth management. The company has offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Beijing. Its parent company is holding company China Everbright, a state-owned enterprise.
Macquarie Group, the Sydney-based investment bank best known for its infrastructure investment activities, topped the Infrastructure Investor 30 (II30) for a second year in a row with $31.83 billion in direct investment capital formed for infrastructure over the past five years. The II30 is Infrastructure Investor’s global ranking of the largest infrastructure direct-investment programmes in the world.