> Pension Funds Insider> Salmond urges pension schemes to invest in Scotland
Scotland's £2.5bn of public infrastructure plans offer new opportunities for pension funds, MSP Alex Salmond said in a speech at the National Association of Pension Funds' (NAPF) Investment Conference in Edinburgh this afternoon.
According to the first minister, capital investments remain "absolutely key" to economic growth and both the UK and the Scottish government should do everything possible to help "unlock the wall of capital" built up during the recession and provide a good platform in which pension funds are willing to invest in infrastructure.
Scotland's housing associations are said to deliver a turnover of more than £1bn per year and hold housing assets worth £10bn. They are currently funded 30/70 by private finance and Government funds. Salmond said that future public infrastructure plans offer the prospect for long-term returns.
"The sector's strong balance sheet, together with its effective regulation and financial stability, offers a safe haven for pension fund investment," the minister told investment managers who attended the conference on its first of three days.
Speaking to schemes looking for more ethical infrastructure projects the speech of the MSP, which at times strongly resembled a sales pitch, mentioned the emerging European grid infrastructure, where last month ScottishPower and National Grid awarded a £1bn contract to lay the world's longest subsea power cable to export more green energy from Scotland.
"These investments are a clear statement of confidence in Scotland's energy sector," Salmond added. "We have a series of projects in the pipeline which can generate safe, predictable, long term revenues, while benefiting Scotland's economy and society more widely. All of this gives you the opportunity to invest in Scotland's future by building Scotland's future. Seizing that opportunity will be good for Scotland, good for you and good for your members."
07 March 2012
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