News in brief: 27 November

- Sweden’s Skandia has invested SEK 1bn in train infrastructure via a bond issued by Eurofima.

The bond aims to offer cost-effective financing and strengthen the incentives to modernize Europe's train services. Eurofima is a non-profit association that supports the development of passenger traffic and the train companies' equipment and infrastructure. The bond, which has been rated AA by both rating agencies Moody's and S&P, covers a total of SEK 1.5bn and has a term of eight years and is guaranteed by Eurofima's member countries, including Sweden.

- Aon has announced the launch of a new impact investing fund, the Aon Global Impact Fund.

The high-conviction active equity fund will be focused on investing in companies that help drive the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and will invest in external managers which have been identified and blended by Aon’s Investment Manager Research team. These selections will based on the potential for strong returns and consideration of their impact on key social and environmental issues. The fund, which has already been integrated into Aon’s defined contribution (DC) solutions, the Aon MasterTrust and Bigblue Touch (Aon’s Group Personal Pension), was launched in September 2020 and has since attracted £100m in assets under management.

- The Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has invested £65m in debt issued by Pobl, a housing association based in Newport, Wales.

The investment will be used to support Pobl’s affordable housing development programme over the next two years as part of its aim to create 10,000 new homes over the next 10 years, as well as to refinance existing long term debt. This the second funding agreement between the two parties, following a £35m investment in 2013, and brings PIC's total investments in the UK’s social housing sector to more than £2bn. The majority (£50m) of the funds will be deferred until 2021, and are expected to mature in 2059, whilst the remaining £15m will be via spot funding maturing in 2041. The deferral was designed to help Pobl lock in certainty of funding at a known rate, with PIC confirming that the maturity profile has also been tailored to match PIC’s pension liabilities in years where it is difficult to source cashflows in the public bond markets.

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