Wells Fargo unit to launch Europe infrastructure fund, target $1 billion

Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:01am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - A unit of Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote) is launching a European infrastructure debt fund with a target size of 750 million euros ($940 million) as pension funds look to longer term investments, the company said on Wednesday.

The 15-year fund will invest in projects in countries including Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, ECM Asset Management said in a statement.

Life insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds have been eyeing up infrastructure debt as a good match on their balance sheets.

"They have long-term liabilities, so they are the natural players in the asset class," said Nicola Beretta Covacivich, head of infrastructure finance at ECM.

In an environment of low yields on more liquid instruments, "the risk-return profile of investments in infrastructure debt is particularly interesting," he added.

But investors say there is a shortage of attractive projects in some regions, which has pushed up prices.

Off-shore wind farms and transport sector projects are among possible investments for the fund, Beretta Covacivich said.

(1 US dollar = 0.7992 euro)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Susan Thomas)

 
The Wells Fargo bank branch is seen in Golden, Colorado October 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking