LONDON Feb 14 British insurer Resolution
could double the funds it is setting aside to invest in
UK infrastructure by the end of 2016, its finance director said.
The company, known to customers by the Friends Life brand,
has already allocated 500 million pounds ($831.82 million) for
power plant, road and port investments and will look at adding a
similar amount once this is fully deployed, Resolution's Chief
Financial Officer Tim Tookey told Reuters on Friday.
"We certainly would have an appetite to do more
infrastructure, say another 500 million pounds," he said.
"Timing would depend on the opportunities and (it) could easily
be end-2016 before we could invest 1 billion pounds wisely."
Many big insurers are eager to invest in infrastructure
projects because they offer long-term, inflation-beating,
regular returns from road tolls and rents which fit well with
long-term liabilities on annuities sold to pensioners.
These products, exchanged for a client's pension pot
accumulated through their working life, commit the insurer to
paying an income until death, which can come decades later.
Resolution is one of six big UK insurers that pledged in
December to invest 25 billion pounds in transport and energy
projects over the next five years.
The others were Legal & General, Prudential
, Aviva, Standard Life, and Lloyds Banking
Group unit Scottish Widows.
Britain's government has made boosting private sector
investment in infrastructure a priority as it grapples with
crumbling and overcrowded roads, railways and airports while
trying to curb public spending.
More than half of Resolution's current infrastructure funds
have yet to be deployed. Its investments so far include a
75-million-pound loan facility to power company Drax Group Plc,
due to mature in June 2018 and backed by a government guarantee.