SYDNEY Nov 29 Australian fund manager IFM
Investors is bullish on investing in the United States following
the election of Donald Trump to U.S. president, seeing strong
potential returns from financing infrastructure assets, its
chief executive said on Tuesday.
"If Trump pursues his policies around infrastructure, it
would mean enormous opportunities for us," IFM Investors CEO
Brett Himbury said in an interview.
Trump has proposed generous tax credits for companies that
build and operate infrastructure projects that earn a fee, such
as toll roads.
IFM, which is one Australia's largest fund managers, has
A$74 billion of assets under management with around
three-quarters in infrastructure.
The asset management company was part of a consortium last
month that bought Australia's biggest electricity grid for $12.5
While Himbury said IFM was more than likely to expand its
infrastructure assets next year, he also highlighted growth in
the fund's listed equities and unlisted debt portfolios.
"We are now investing A$1 billion in infrastructure debt per
year and we could easily double it," he said, seeing a sweet
spot for single-A rated assets in U.S. and Australian dollars,
particularly in the energy sector.
IFM is also increasingly looking at European debt in both
primary and secondary markets due to attractive returns of 200
basis points to 400 basis points over Libor.
Himbury also sees value in "enhanced passive" management of
share securities amid falling interest rates and a cut-throat
"Enhanced passive is a very cost effective way to deliver
returns," he said.
Enhanced passive investment is a hybrid strategy that
typically tracks an index or portfolio but adds a modest degree
of management, as opposed to active management that tries to
beat the market by frequently selling or buying securities.
Around A$25 billion of IFM's funds is in corporate and
infrastructure debt and cash, with A$2 billion in private equity
and A$15 billion in listed equities. The balance of A$32 billion
is in unlisted infrastructure equities.
(Reporting by Cecile Lefort; Editing by Eric Meijer)