Armstrong International

North American institutional investors to plough billions into Europe infrastructure and property projects

By Bea Patel, Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent, the estate agent comparison site

A report by Armstrong International revealed results of 305 North American institutional investors surveyed this year. Investment bodies included public pension funds, public universities, private foundations and endowments in the US and Canada. The report showed they’re planning long-term investments in foreign infrastructure, pumping billions of pounds into Europe, their first target area on the shopping list, followed by Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

With low interest rates in the US, high equities and a strong US dollar, these investors are looking to add value to their portfolios by seeking opportunities in foreign markets, increasing their allocations to private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds. The Government of China is significant investors in overseas infrastructure. Active investments by North American investors could add competition to the marketplace, suggests Armstrong’s study.

Four in five surveyed said they’re actively investing or planning to increase their allocations in Europe, and three quarters of the rest are actively considering investments in Europe.

Martin Armstrong, Chairman of Armstrong International

Martin Armstrong, Chairman of Armstrong International

“This is a pivot point for Europe,” said Martin Armstrong, Chairman of Armstrong International. “We’ve never detected this level of positive sentiment on the part of North American institutional investors. It feels very much like a land grab. After a tepid decade, this level of investment enthusiasm implies that Europe is a re-emerging economy.”

Armstrong International’s survey also revealed the second and third places on the shopping list are Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Two thirds of those investing in Asia have plans to add to their portfolio, and 37 per cent plan to increase their portfolio over the next 36 months. It also showed that, last year, foreign investment in the UK was at its highest level for more than a quarter of a century. There were almost 1,800 projects creating around 67,000 new jobs. And with a link between increases in foreign investment with a need to build a talent base in London and Europe, the survey shows there could be more long-term jobs coming up.

Martin Armstrong concludes “Against the backdrop of a fast-recovering economy here in Britain, these findings can only be seen as an encouraging sign of future growth in the financial jobs sector.”

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