December 19, 2013 / 9:32 AM / 4 years ago

Aviva pledges $820 million for UK infrastructure projects

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - British insurance group Aviva has committed 500 million pounds ($819.58 million) to invest in UK infrastructure projects in sectors including transport, hospitals and utilities.

The firm said on Thursday that its commitment follows a deal on new European capital requirements for insurers - known as Solvency II - which had proved less burdensome than initially feared, freeing up more money to invest.

"As a direct consequence of the recent agreement on Solvency II, we now have the political and regulatory foundations to invest in the country's infrastructure," said Aviva Chief Executive Mark Wilson.

"The Government recognises we cannot build on shifting sands and it is essential that the Government, the regulators and the EU act together."

The UK government earlier in December unveiled plans for six insurers, including Aviva, to invest 25 billion pounds in transport and energy projects as part of a national infrastructure plan designed to jump start economic growth.

Many big insurers are eager to invest in infrastructure because they offer long-term inflation beating regular returns from road tolls and rents which fit well with the companies long term liabilities on pension products.

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