Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (146, 182)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

146. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Finance further to his announcement of 15 May 2014 if he will provide a full breakdown of each of the investments, including the moneys allocated, committed to from the National Pensions Reserve Fund in advance of the establishment of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. [24442/14]

View answer

Ciara Conway

Question:

182. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for Finance the projects supported by the strategic investment fund; the way applications to the fund can be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24572/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 146 and 182 together.

The National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Bill 2014, which is currently before the Oireachtas, includes provisions to establish the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) which will absorb the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and have a statutory mandate to invest on a commercial basis to support economic activity and employment in Ireland. When the ISIF is established, NPRF money invested in its Discretionary Portfolio (valued at €6.9 billion as at 31 March 2014) will become available to invest in Ireland as suitable investment opportunities arise and are developed.

I am informed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), which is the Manager of the NPRF, that, in the context of reorienting the NPRF towards commercial investment in Ireland under the ISIF initiative, the NPRF Commission has already committed to a number of investments in Ireland including infrastructure, water, long-term financing for SMEs (both credit and equity) and venture capital.  A detailed table of the NPRF commitments to Irish investments at 31 March 2014 is set out in a table:

NPRF and third-party Irish Commitments 31/03/2014

NPRF Commitment Capital (€m)

3rd Party Capital (€m)

Total Project Size

(€m)

Multiple of NPRF Commitment

SME Equity Fund - Better Capital

50

50

100

2.0x

SME Equity Fund - Cardinal Carlyle

125

125

250

2.0x

SME Credit Fund - BlueBay

200

250

450

2.3x

China Ireland Technology Fund (Note 1)

72*

36

72

1.0x

Innovation Fund Ireland

125

125

250

2.0x

Local Venture Capital Funds

81

320

401

5.0x

Silicon Valley Bank (Note 1)

36*

72

72

2.0x

Irish Water

250

-

250

1.0x

Irish Infrastructure Fund

250

66

316

1.3x

Forestry

30

187

217

7.2x

Committed to Date

1,220

1,231

2,378

2.0x

 Note 1: €36 committed by the NPRF to the Global Funds as part of wider third-party relationship

In addition to the commitments in the above table, the National Pensions Reserve Fund has provided a stand-by credit facility for the N11 and Schools Bundles 3 Public-Private Partnership projects.

The NTMA intends to publish a report each year regarding investments made by the ISIF.  The first report, which will include an overview of the Fund's Irish investments, is scheduled for publication in the coming weeks.

Finding and developing investment opportunities will be a key function of the ISIF. The NPRF actively encourages people to approach it or its third-party investment managers with investment proposals. The presentations from its recent market engagement event at Dublin Castle and the related contact details are available on the NPRF's website www.nprf.ie.

The initial approach does not need to be a formal one.  In fact, much of the time the process commences with a telephone call and an idea and the NTMA will then work with the party seeking the finance to help shape and develop the proposal.  If the NTMA does not think the investment proposition meets its requirements it will make that clear as soon as possible so as not to waste time.

For each of the SME funds, investment selection is carried out independently by the respective manager.  However, the NPRF is happy to direct queries from businesses seeking finance to the relevant manager. Requests of this kind should be sent to smefunds@nprf.ie.

Venture capital funds seeking to access funding from the NPRF/ISIF are invited to contact the NPRF Unit directly at vcfunds@nprf.ie.

All other queries should be directed to info@nprf.ie or to any of the contacts detailed on www.nprf.ie.