€1.3bn invested in economy via pension fund

The NTMA raised €7.5bn last year and invested €1.3bn in the economy through the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF), according to its end-of-year statement.

The Government announced last year that the NPRF would be converted into a new Strategic Investment Fund.

In its end-of-year statement the NTMA said that the NPRF had been working on a pipeline of potential investments with €1.3bn invested or commitments made in infrastructure, venture capital and long-term financing for SMEs.

“Significant commitments made in 2013 include an investment of €375m in three new long-term funds that are providing a total €850m of equity, credit and restructuring/recovery investment for Irish small- and medium-sized businesses and mid-sized corporates.

“The NPRF played a significant role in the development of the funds, all of which have established a local presence, and is a cornerstone investor in each alongside additional investment from third-party investors.

“The NPRF also provided a bridging loan of €250m to Irish Water to cover start-up costs and the initial phase of water meter installation,” the NTMA statement said.

The value of the discretionary portfolio was €6.8bn at the end of last year, having made a return of 6.3% over the 12-month period.

In March last year the NTMA issued its first 10-year bond since Jan 2010. As well as financing the €11.5bn budget deficit, it refinanced €5.1bn of maturing long-term debt.

The NTMA maintained exchequer cash and deposits of €18.5bn at the end of December, leaving the economy fully funded into the first quarter of 2015. Exchequer cash debt service costs in 2013 were €8.1bn.

The NTMA also played a role in the divestment of state assets through the NewERA unit, including the sale of Bord Gáis Energy to a consortium comprising Centrica, Brookfield Renewable Power and iCON infrastructure on Dec 12 for €1.12bn.

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