LONDON Jan 19 Insurance group Legal & General
wants to build five new towns across Britain over the
next ten years at a cost of up to 5 billion pounds ($8.22
billion), the company's chief executive told the Sunday Times.
The firm, which manages 440 billion pounds in assets
globally, said building new towns and regenerating inner cities
was the best way of addressing Britain's housing crisis, and
would also meet L&G's aim of investing more of its pension fund
money in infrastructure.
"If we can bring communities with us and agree planning,
we'd like to help build several new towns across the country.
We're already developing towns within cities, in partnership
with enlightened local authorities and boroughs," L&G's Chief
Executive Nigel Wilson told the newspaper.
L&G said in March last year that it was looking for more
opportunities to invest directly in infrastructure after it took
a stake in British housebuilder Cala Homes. In December, it
invested 169 million pounds in infrastructure assets including a
chain of care homes and a planned new
Housebuilding in Britain is at its lowest in about 90 years
and economists say the country needs 250,000 homes a year to
keep up with population growth, with demand far exceeding
Insurers are keen to invest in infrastructure because of the
long duration of the commitments and the steady,
inflation-linked returns from rents, which are well-suited for
covering the companies's pension liabilities.