US / IRELAND - The US$155bn New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) will invest up to $30m in Northern Ireland, as part of a new private equity programme.
New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said there were opportunities in Northern Ireland and the investment was the result of an extensive review and due diligence process over many months.
He said: "Even in the face of today's challenging economic times, Northern Ireland is an emerging market with a young, highly skilled workforce, excellent transportation and commercial infrastructure, and the kind of business-friendly environment that can foster economic growth."
"In the face of this very difficult investment market, we have to pursue long-term investments that will position the Fund for strong long-range returns. This investment positions the Fund to partner in the opportunities Northern Ireland's future will bring."
Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness said the investment was a "massive vote of confidence in the peace process".
He added: "This $30m investment represents the ordinary people of New York taking a stake in the future of the ordinary people of the North of Ireland. The Fund makes the twin aims of tackling depravation and generating wealth for investors and communities alike."
Last year, four New York City pension funds including the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS), the Teacher Retirement System for the City of New York (TRS), the New York City Police Pension Fund, and the New York City Fire Department Fund committed to investing $150m in Northern Ireland via the Emerald Infrastructure Development Fund (Globalpensions.com; 14 April 2008).
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