Big foreign investors remain interested in the UK after last year’s Brexit vote, according to the boss of Amber Infrastructure’s listed fund, INPP.
Chief executive Giles Frost also suggested that Brexit may provide an opportunity for the UK to amend frustrating procurement laws when leaving the EU.
He was speaking after INPP today reported a net asset value (NAV) growth of 21.8 per cent to £2bn in the six months to 30 June.
“There is no shortage of foreign capital looking to invest in the UK,” said Frost, whose fund this year invested in the National Grid’s gas distribution network alongside the likes of Macquarie, Allianz Capital Partners, the Qatar Investment Authority and China’s CIC Capital.
“There is a lot of Korean money that is looking for homes in the UK, there continues to be a lot of Australian money, North American money and European money.”
He added: “I would say that the infrastructure sector has been probably less adversely affected by Brexit-related concerns than other sectors might have been.”
Meanwhile, Frost said he would like the UK government to be more open to receiving infrastructure propositions from the private sector.
“If you think back over infrastructure of the last couple of hundred years, the stuff we all depend on, the people who built the District Line weren’t doing it on the basis of a government subsidy or a government procurement… people were taking ideas to government,” he said.
“I think there’s room for a greater ability for people to take ideas to government bodies to addition to the very major infrastructure projects, like Crossrail or Crossrail 2 or HS2.”
He suggested that Brexit could be an opportunity for advancement in this area.
“I think actually things like EU procurement law is a bit restrictive on taking ideas forward,” he added. “Because, if government’s involved with things, procurement law generally means they have to offer a level playing field for everybody. So the risk is that the legal system forces good ideas to be shared around the market…
“So potentially Brexit may even give an opportunity for procurement law to be [changed] a little bit. Not in a way to make things unfair, but perhaps in a way that allows innovation to be exploited a little bit more than it is at the moment.”