BlackRock raises $4.5 bln for climate-focused infrastructure fund

The company logo and trading information for BlackRock is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Oct 25 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) has raised $4.5 billion out of an overall $7.5 billion-target for a new fund to invest in infrastructure assets aimed at climate-focused projects, the world's largest asset manager said on Tuesday.

BlackRock, which manages around $8 trillion in assets, said public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies and family offices had invested in the new fund, which will be called Global Infrastructure Fund IV.

The asset manager said the new fund will invest in five sectors –– energy, low carbon power, transport and logistics, regulated utilities, and digital infrastructure –– to capitalize on the growing trend towards decarbonization and digitalization.

Its previous infrastructure fund raised $5.1 billion in 2020.

Earlier this month, BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink defended his firm's energy investments after facing a backlash from lawmakers critical of its stance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

BlackRock has faced criticism from many sides in the debate on low-carbon fuels, with environmentalists protesting it does too little to press for change at fossil fuel portfolio companies, and Republican U.S. politicians accusing it of boycotting energy stocks.

The company also recently set up a unit called Transition Capital to invest in opportunities linked to the global shift to a low-carbon economy.

Reporting by Ann Maria shibu and Lavanya Ahire in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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