Prudential Asia arm commits $500m to IFC debt platform

The move brings the World Bank affiliate’s emerging market-focused infrastructure initiative to one-fifth to its $5bn fundraising target.

Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management unit of the UK’s Prudential, has pledged $500 million to an emerging markets-focused infrastructure debt platform launched by the International Finance Corporation.

The firm is the first Asian investor to participate in MCPP Infrastructure and the second institution worldwide to back the initiative, which the IFC launched last October with a $5 billion fundraising target.

Under the agreement, the IFC will originate transactions and provide Eastspring with co-lending opportunities in “all deals that fit with Eastspring's investment strategy,” the two partners said.

The first agreement to be signed under the scheme saw Allianz Global Investors, the asset management arm of the eponymous German insurer, pledge to provide $500 million. The investment closed earlier this year, as reported exclusively by Infrastructure Investor.

It is unclear whether French insurer AXA, which was also in talks with the IFC when MCPP was unveiled last year, is set to follow Eastspring in backing the platform.

AXA had not responded to a request for comment at press time.

MCPP’s portfolio is expected to have a 10- to 12-year weighted average life, with assets spanning power, water, transportation and telecoms. It is set to comprise between 30 and 40 loans, with renewables eligible for up to 40 percent of the total investment, and target single-digit returns.

“The structure of this partnership breaks new ground in providing a credit-enhanced platform for our clients to participate in a portfolio of emerging market infrastructure loans,” Tony Adams, Eastspring’s chief investment officer, commented on Wednesday.

With support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the IFC provides a limited first-loss guarantee on MCPP’s investments.

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