The worlds fourth largest pension fund has revealed plans to open a UK base and is now expected to make major investments in UK infrastructure.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced the move yesterday following a meeting in Seoul with the chair of the South Korean National Pension Service scheme, Jun Kwang-woo.
NPS currently has $320bn under management and has ambitions to almost double its current overseas portfolio of $36bn. Opening in June, its London office will be only its second overseas base, after New York and, according to the Cabinet Office, represents a 'huge opportunity' for significant investment in UK real estate, infrastructure projects and equities.
To date NPS has already invested over £1bn in the UK over the past two years. This includes purchasing a 12% stake in Gatwick Airport worth £100m, a 50% stake, worth £85m, in 40 Grosvenor Place in London and the purchase of the HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, for £773m and 88 Wood Street in the capital for £183m.
Announcing its latest move into the UK market, Mr Clegg said: 'This is fantastic news which has the potential to bring considerable investment to the UK and create a significant jobs boost back home.
'Investment in infrastructure is a virtuous circle, growing our manufacturing and construction sectors and making Britain more attractive for further investment.'
The government was making sure investors were aware of opportunities in the UK and its long term strategy to deliver 'world-beating' infrastructure, Mr Clegg added.
Last September, plans were announced to give 40 of the UK's biggest infrastructure project special priority status and ministers have been tasked with examining projects to ensure there are no delays and blockages.
In last week’s Budget, Chancellor George Osborne highlighted the government's commitment to encouraging overseas pensions fund to invest in UK infrastructure. He also said it was working with 12 UK pension funds in a similar way.
NPS is the world's fourth largest pension fund in terms of assets under management and, according to the Cabinet Office, it is also on track to become the world's third largest in the near future.
It owns a number of landmark buildings in Europe and the US including a 278m, 75%, stake in a Paris shopping centre and has made a $1bn deal to be a 23.44% stake in Colonial Pipeline.