Europe’s second largest insurer, Axa, plans to lend €10 billion over the next five years to finance schemes ranging from airports to wind farms.
Insurance companies have been stepping in to fill the gap in funding left by banks deleveraging: Axa’s lending will be focused in Europe initially, but will potentially expand into the UK and further afield.
Despite worries that Solvency II will force them to reverse the move, insurers are increasingly moving away from low-yield government bonds and into riskier investments in order to raise their returns.
Although Axa’s planned investment in infrastructure debt is only 2% of its total assets, its exposure to infrastructure debt will be increased by more than 1000% from its current totals of around €1 billion.
Read more on this story on the Financial Times website.