The value of Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund grew to €8.7 billion last year on a foot of several strategic investments and the injection of additional funds from the exchequer.
In its year-end review, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) said it had generated €655 million investment returns since it inception in 2014.
Combined with the injection of €865 million from AIB dividends and the sale of Aer Lingus shares, this lifted the fund's total value from €7.2 billion to €8.7 billion.
Preliminary figures indicated an investment return of 4 per cent for 2017 on the ISIF portfolio, comprising 4.1 per cent on the global portfolio and 3.4 per cent on the Irish portfolio.
The fund, previously the National Pension Reserve Fund, has now made 79 investments, which support over 28,000 jobs.
It recently invested €52 million in infrastructure to unlock over 4,000 residential units in Cherrywood in Dublin as part of scheme that is being developed by property company Hines.
The fund has also invested in Ireland's fledgling solar power industry via a joint venture with German solar park operator Capital Stage, which will see €140 million invested in 20 new solar parks across the State.
“The investment gains generated by the fund - €655 million in value since inception - demonstrate a very satisfactory performance for a low risk fund in the current interest rate environment,” NTMA chief executive Conor O’Kelly said.
ISIF director Eugene O’Callaghan said: “The ISIF’s investments to date are well spread across the fund’s strategic themes of enabling, growing and learning edge.”