Calpers Forms $764 Million Asian Infrastructure Partnership

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The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is forming a $764 million partnership with Australian firm QIC Ltd. to invest in infrastructure projects in Asia.

The largest U.S. public pension intends to steer money to water, power, transportation and energy projects, the Sacramento-based fund said Wednesday in a news release.

“This is a great opportunity to expand our infrastructure portfolio and to enter the Asia-Pacific market,” Paul Mouchakkaa, Calpers’ senior investment officer for real assets, said in the release.

Calpers has $2.1 billion in infrastructure investments as a hedge against inflation; it provides a long-term source of income. The pension bought a stake in London’s Gatwick airport in 2010 and invested in an underwater power cable between New York and New Jersey in 2011. Calpers, which has 0.7 percent of its $307 billion portfolio in infrastructure, wants to increase that to 1 percent.

Spokesman Joe DeAnda declined to say what portion of the partnership will come from the pension.

The partnership offers an opportunity to “deploy capital across the core infrastructure sectors of transport, energy, utilities” and public private partnerships, said Ross Israel, QIC’s head of global infrastructure, which manages A$72.9 billion ($57.4 billion) in funds.