* CEO says CPPIB 'consistently outbid' for infrastructure
* CEO says U.S. infrastructure plan a 'massive opportunity'
* CEO says not looking to provide finance to Home Capital
* Net investment return 11.8 percent in 2016/17 fiscal year
(Adds comments from interview with CEO)
By Matt Scuffham
TORONTO, May 18 The Canada Pension Plan
Investment Board (CPPIB), one of the world's biggest
infrastructure investors, is regularly losing out in bidding
wars for such assets, its chief executive said, as investors
seek alternatives to low-yielding government bonds.
The CPPIB is one of the world's biggest investors in
infrastructure such as roads, bridges and tunnels, but its CEO,
Mark Machin, said high valuations were making it harder to do
deals in the current environment.
"We are consistently outbid for assets around the world
because they are really priced almost to perfection and there's
an enormous amount of capital chasing infrastructure,
particularly in developed markets," Machin told reporters on
Thursday after the fund reported results for its last fiscal
The CPPIB did acquire a 33 percent stake in Pacific
National, one of the largest providers of rail freight services
in Australia, for about A$1.7 billion ($1.3 billion) last year
but was generally less active in infrastructure than it has been
in previous years.
Machin said the current imbalance between supply and demand
in the global infrastructure market could change if U.S.
President Donald Trump proceeds with a $1 trillion
"If policy (makers) in the U.S. got their act together that
would produce a good home for a lot of capital looking for that
type of opportunity," he said.
In an interview with Reuters, Machin said he anticipated
Trump's infrastructure plan would present a "massive
"It could be huge," he said. "We've got plenty of firepower
and expertise to look at those opportunities when they arise."
The fund, which manages Canada's national pension fund and
invests on behalf of 20 million Canadians, reported a net return
of 11.8 percent on its investments last year, helped by its
strategy of diversifying across asset classes and geographies.
The performance represented a significant improvement on the
year before, when the fund achieved a net return of 3.4 percent.
The CPPIB said it ended its fiscal year on March 31 with net
assets of C$316.7 billion ($232.2 billion), compared with
C$278.9 billion a year earlier.
Machin ruled out the possibility of CPPIB providing funding
to Home Capital, Canada's biggest non-bank lender, which is
struggling to finance its assets.
"It’s not something that, as far as I'm aware, any of our
teams have been looking at closely," he said.
($1 = 1.3638 Canadian dollars)
($1 = 1.3461 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and