Canada's largest pension funds eye post-Brexit bargains

Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:48pm EDT
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* Valuations seen falling, providing opportunities

* Funds big investors in UK infrastructure, real estate

* CPPIB says UK still attractive market

* OTPP says continues work on new UK opportunities

By Matt Scuffham

TORONTO, June 24 (Reuters) - Canada's largest pension funds see opportunities to invest in UK real estate and infrastructure at discounted prices following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, fund executives said on Friday.

The funds, which manage over C$1 trillion ($768 billion) of assets and are among the biggest investors in U.K. real estate and infrastructure, anticipate valuations falling as a result of Britain's decision to leave the bloc, presenting opportunities for investors willing to take a long-term view.

"The Canadian plans are great investors and I think, as opportunities present themselves, they will take advantage of them. It's at times of dislocation that people often get a really good deal," said Hugh O'Reilly, chief executive at OP Trust, one of Canada's 10 biggest public pension funds.

Canada's large pension funds have differentiated themselves from international rivals by investing directly in infrastructure and real estate as an alternative to choppy equity markets and low-yielding government bonds.   Continued...