Macquarie pledges to fund Taiwan infra

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets has signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan’s Council for Economic Development to help fund the government’s eight-year, $133bn infrastructure plans.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), part of Australia’s Macquarie Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan’s Council for Economic Development (CEPD), pledging to help fund infrastructure across the island nation.
 
Under the agreement, the CEPD will provide MIRA with information on infrastructure projects open to international investors and help it navigate the requisite regulatory frameworks. The document does not specify how much money MIRA is prepared to invest in Taiwan, although it highlights that Macquarie has already invested some $1 billion in local infrastructure projects across the ports, wind and ICT sectors.
 
The projects open to MIRA will form part of the island nation’s so-called ‘i-Taiwan 12’ infrastructure projects, an eight-year government infrastructure programme started in 2009 worth some NT$3.99 trillion (€104 billion; $133 billion). The CEPD is expecting the private sector to help foot about NT$1.2 trillion of that amount.
 
In September 2010, CEPD minister Christina Liu – who signed the memorandum with MIRA managing director Ben Way – told Infrastructure Investor that the ‘i-Taiwan 12’ are not really “12 standalone projects, but refer to bundles in different sectors, so there will be hundreds of projects,” many of them set to be procured together with the private sector.
 
At the time, Liu also talked up Taiwan’s buoyant debt market: “We really welcome foreign companies to come here and borrow funds from here. We have a huge supply of capital so interest rates are quite low. A significant part of these funds are in private banks but we also have a lot of excess supply of savings and our insurance companies have accumulated a lot of funds they would like to invest.”
 
Taiwan is set to hold elections this Saturday that could see the opposition pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party take power. But local press say that MIRA’s Way declined to comment on whether a change of government would lead to a change in MIRA’s commitment to Taiwan.