Infrastructure assets attract funds

The $12 billion industry fund HOSTPLUS is building an in-house infrastructure team to evaluate assets, fresh from its investments in NSW ports and the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct at Darling Harbour.

The $12 billion industry fund HOSTPLUS is building an in-house infrastructure team to evaluate assets, fresh from its investments in NSW ports and the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct at Darling Harbour.

"There will be more of those deals," HOSTPLUS chief investment officer Sam Sicilia said.

"We are building an infrastructure team. That means that we will be able to assess more than one deal at the same time, which we haven't been able to do in the past."

Questioned on the size of the team, Dr Sicilia said: "By the time the deal arrives, you better have the people there. There isn't the time. The ports were six weeks."

HOSTPLUS made its first investment in infrastructure in 2000, and the asset class now accounts for about 10 per cent of its assets. The fund recently joined forces with Industry Funds Management, QSuper, AustralianSuper, Cbus, HESTA and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to buy 99-year leases on two NSW ports for $5.07 billion.

The Industry Super Network said industry super funds could invest $15 billion over the next five years on infrastructure, matching super's long-term focus with the country's infrastructure needs. But caution remains about price.

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