Strategic fund invests €613m in 2015

Six further deals worth €200m expected to close in coming weeks

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s deals in 2015 included a €100m fund for residential property development.

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s deals in 2015 included a €100m fund for residential property development.

 

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF)invested €613 million in Irish projects in the 11 months to November 2015, the fund said on Tuesday, with a further six deals worth €200 million expected to close in the coming weeks.

The €7.4 billion fund, which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), was established in 2014 to replace the National Pension Reserve Fund and to invest on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.

ISIF recently joined forces with the European Investment Bank and German promotional bank KfW to fund SME loans via the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and it has also teamed up with a US real estate fund to offer up to € 100 million to finance high-quality office development and construction projects. Other investments include offering funding of up to €500 million to residential property developers andIrish based life sciences company Malin.

The fund’s Irish investments are split approximately 50/50 between Dublin and the rest of Ireland.

New figures show that it invested € 613 million in 2015, bringing its total investment in Irish projects to date to €2 billion. When ISIF’s investment is combined with third-party capital, total investment commitments amounting to € 4.9 billion.

Fund director Eugene O’Callaghan said the figures show that 2015 was a “productive” one for the fund.

“We have made sizeable commitments to investment opportunities that meet our dual mandate. Just as importantly however, the intensive market awareness and engagement undertaken in 2015 has laid the necessary groundwork for an investment programme that will span several years and we are very satisfied with the commitments made to date and with the quality of the active investment pipeline,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

The fund expects to close six further investments, with a combined value of about €200m in the coming weeks. ISIF is also “actively working” on 44 investment proposals with a combined value of € 1.4 billion.

ISIF also reiterated that the proceeds from the €335 million sale of the state’s stake in Aer Lingus have been allocated to a new “Connectivity Fund”, and have been earmarked for investment on a commercial basis in projects that enhance Ireland’s physical, virtual or energy connectivity.

ISIF said it expects to appoint investment managers, to help it transition from a globally-invested portfolio to one that is focused on Ireland, in the first quarter of 2016.

From a broader economic perspective, ISIF said that in the six months to June 30th, its investments supported over 12,000 jobs, and the gross value add from the investments was € 276 million. Eighty-five Irish companies backed by the Fund generated turnover of € 645 million in the first half of 2015, while 35 per cent of their turnover comes from exports.