TORONTO Nov 14 Canada's Liberal government is
speaking to sovereign wealth funds and global private equity
firms as well as domestic pension funds as it ramps up efforts
to attract funding for its new infrastructure bank, according to
The overseas investors that the officials developing the
infrastructure bank are speaking to include the Government
Pension Fund of Norway, one of the world's largest sovereign
wealth funds, said the sources, who declined to speak on the
record because of the sensitivity of the talks.
The government said earlier this month it would set up an
infrastructure bank and give it access to C$35 billion ($26
billion) to help fund major projects.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill
Morneau are attending an event in Toronto on Monday aimed at
attracting private investment. The event is part of a series of
meetings with private investors ahead of the launch of the bank,
which Ottawa hopes will be up and running next year, the sources
Trudeau and Morneau had previously expressed a desire to
attract investment from Canada's biggest pension plans such as
the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Caisse de
depot du Quebec and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.
A significant proportion of the projects the bank hopes to
fund will be built from scratch, known as "greenfield"
investments, rather than "brownfield" investments which have
already been built.
The Canadian pension funds, among the world's ten biggest
infrastructure investors, have invested more in projects
overseas than in their domestic market.
That is partly because they have preferred to invest in
existing infrastructure which has established revenue streams
and does not carry construction risk. However, that stance is
changing as investors seek alternatives to government bonds and
volatile equity markets.
Last week, CPPIB's Chief Executive Mark Machin said in an
interview the fund would be open to investing in greenfield
projects through the infrastructure bank.
Meanwhile, the Caisse, Quebec's public pension fund, is
planning to build a new 67 kilometer public transit system in
Montreal, investing C$3 billion and seeking to supplement that
with C$2.5 billion of federal and provincial government funding.
That project could be one of the first to be funded by the
new infrastructure bank, the sources said.
Sources said the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is also
planning to invest more in greenfield projects.
($1 = 1.3546 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)