Australian investment bank Macquarie is on the look-out for further deals in the UK and has encouraged its native government to “build stronger trade links” with Britain.
The firm, which is attempting to complete a deal to buy the UK government’s Green Investment Bank (GIB), was responding to an inquiry by the Australian parliament into the two countries’ trade and investment relationship after Brexit.
“Macquarie Group does not anticipate any immediate impact to its business consequent to the UK’s exit from the European Union and we will continue to have a significant business presence in both the UK and Europe,” the submission said.
“By way of example, we have invested more than £10bn in the last seven months, making us one of the largest investors in UK infrastructure post Brexit.”
It added: “We also note the Australian government’s desire to commence negotiations on an Australia-UK free trade agreement at the appropriate time.
“Macquarie shares the view that there are opportunities to build stronger trade links with the UK and considers there are benefits in greater diversification of Australia’s trading relationships.”
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The UK government has come under pressure this year after reports suggested Macquarie, the preferred bidder, was planning to asset strip the GIB. Particular concern has been expressed among politicians in Scotland, which is home to the GIB.
Macquarie used its submission to the Australian government to highlight its interest in green energy and in Scotland.
The submission said:
Macquarie, and its managed funds, is one of the world’s largest investors in renewable energy having invested or arranged more than £8.5 billion of investment into renewable energy projects since 2010. Much of this capital has been invested in the UK.
Macquarie sees opportunities to broaden its investment across the UK, including in the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To that end, the group is supportive of measures that encourage and facilitate dialogue with the devolved administrations, to support its efforts in that regard.
By way of example, we see notable opportunity in Scotland as a future destination for investment. As an investor in Scotland, Macquarie recognises the depth of expertise that exists in its renewable energy and financial services sectors.