Australian firms are readying a further splurge of investment into the UK to capitalise on a boom in renewable energy and infrastructure projects, according to a top National Australia Bank executive.
John McClusky, chief of National Australia Bank’s UK arm, told City A.M. in an interview that the UK was ripe for investment from Australian funds looking to fuel the transition to net zero.
“The UK remains very appealing for investment across infrastructure, renewables and property at the moment, and there are plenty of opportunities for Aussie investors in private markets to deploy capital,” he said.
“The stable regulatory environment coupled with the UK’s progressive approach to energy transition also makes this market particularly attractive.”
He added that the appetite from Australian funds wanting to invest in the UK will “only continue to increase”.
Australia has been perceived as lagging other developed nations on climate action and renewable energy, and investors down under are now increasingly looking to tap into a richer pool of environmental assets outside Australia, McClusky said.
“ESG is just part of the fabric now, it’s only going to get bigger. So if investors are not finding those assets in Australia, they’re going to support projects elsewhere.”
His comments come after a group of nine Australian firms committed to injecting £28.5bn into the UK economy in March, which ministers claimed would spur a “green industrial revolution”.
Financial giant Macquarie Group was among the group and has committed £12bn capital by 2030 to infrastructure projects across the UK, including in offshore wind in Lincolnshire and north Scotland, gigabit broadband in rural England and hydrogen hubs in Southampton and Orkney.
Investment firm IFM, which has committed to delivering £3bn UK investment over the next five years, said foreign investors would be more willing to inject capital into the UK if the government would shoulder a higher level of the risk and offer more control in equity for long term support.