Caisse investing 143 billion on Mexico infrastructure projects

MONTREAL — The Caisse de depot is partnering with Mexican institutional investors as the Quebec pension fund manager pursues its goal of doubling infrastructure investments by 2018.The Caisse says it will invest $1.43 billion on infrastructure projects in Mexico after teaming with a newly created consortium that manages 62 per cent of that country’s pension fund assets.The group plans to spend $2.8 billion over five years in what the Caisse de depot says is the first such partnership in North America between Mexican financial institutions and a large international pension fund manager.“It is going to position both the Caisse and our partner … to benefit and invest in the unique opportunities that Mexico will provide in infrastructure in the coming years,” said Macky Tall, senior vice-president infrastructure, private equity.Caisse chief Michael Sabia warns of global turbulence as fund tops benchmarks in first halfThe Caisse and Goldman Sachs invest in background screening companyThe Caisse sees large investment opportunities in Mexico because the government plans to spend about $614 billion over four years on infrastructure investments, targeting mainly energy and transportation projects.It will hold a 51 per cent stake in the unnamed investment vehicle. The Mexican investors will hold the remaining 49 per cent.The co-investment platform will focus on energy generation, including renewable energy, transmission and distribution, as well as water, transportation and public transit projects.As part of the Mexican transaction, the pension plan partners called CKD Infraestructura Mexico, are acquiring 49 per cent of the Caisse’s equity investment with the country’s largest construction firm that owns four toll road concessions.Tall said the co-investment platform being created in Mexico could be used in other emerging markets in Latin America such as Colombia, India or South East Asia.“This is certainly a model we would like to replicate in other countries,” he said in an interview.The Caisse hopes emerging markets will eventually account for 10 to 15 per cent of its infrastructure portfolio, up from the current level of less than five per cent.It has been a major infrastructure investor in the United States and other developed markets for 15 years, building a portfolio worth more than $11 billion. Assets include the Port of Brisbane, Heathrow Airport in London, Eurostar and Colonial Pipeline in the United States.The Caisse is also analyzing two large infrastructure projects in Montreal with an estimated value of about $5 billion. A final recommendation on options is expected to be sent to the Quebec government within 18 months on downtown transit links to Trudeau International Airport and across the new Champlain Bridge to the south shore of Montreal.The Caisse is Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager with $240.8 billion in net assets as of June 30. It primarily manages funds for the pension and insurance plans of the public and parapublic sector, which includes doctors and other professions paid by but not directly employed by the government.The Canadian Press read more

Hungarian Hall celebrates milestone

DELHI The Hungarian Hall here is celebrating its 70th anniversary this month.“We are proud of our Hungarian heritage,” said Andy Putoczki, hall president since 2008.“And we encourage our Hungarian friends and community friends to help preserve our heritage, culture, and Hungarian foods.”The hall was completed on May 15, 1949, after a group of Hungarian immigrants created an association to preserve their heritage, culture and language. The group was incorporated on June 7, 1947.The hall is used for all kinds of events from weddings to funeral luncheons. Regular meals are served on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.Before being president, Putoczki, whose father was vice-president at one time, served on the executive for a number of years. But he stepped away for a few years because of the workload of being a school principal.“I came back on, they elected me as president, and that’s been about 10 years now and I’m still here,” he said.As president, Putoczki organizes the events calendar for the year and oversees the financial books, among other duties.Mary Jane Kekes, president from 2002 to 2006, is the only woman to serve in that role.“I grew up in the hall; this was like a second home to me,” she said.“It means a lot.”Kekes was joined by three other women on the board during her tenure as president.“We shook the walls, but they’re still standing,” she said.Over past 70 years, the hall has gone through many renovations. The basement, which used to be a bowling alley, is now home to the Danube Bar and the Delhi Belgian Archery Club.The hall has been an integral part of the Multicultural Heritage Association of Norfolk since it was created 41 years ago, participating in and hosting many events.astaylor@postmedia.com read more