Irish wealth fund set to invest further in pandemic-hit sectors

FILE PHOTO: Offices in the Central Bank of Ireland are seen in the financial district in Dublin, Ireland November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund is involved in discussions with a number companies in the hardest hit sectors such as travel in need of further investment to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the country’s debt agency said.

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which is overseen by the debt office, was mandated a year ago to invest up to 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) directly in larger firms hit by the pandemic via equity, debt and hybrid instruments.

ISIF made 400 million euros of such investments last year, including a 150 million euro loan to IAG’s Irish airline Aer Lingus. It said on Monday it had approved another 400 million euros so far this year with discussions ongoing on further potential investments.

($1 = 0.8393 euros)

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alex Richardson