“which could prove controversial..”

The BBC report on the expected announcement, by the New York City Comptroller William Thompson, of the setting up of an investment fund based in the US and in Belfast, notes that the “details are still under wraps”. Those details seem to include the amount, which varies from “more than $100m” in the BBC report, up to to $150m investment in the RTÉ report. The Irish Times notes that the NY City Pension Funds “may consider further investment, possibly up to $750 million (€472 million), depending on the performance of the initial investment, sources close to the deal said.” Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams has already welcomed the announcement, which Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness decided to join out-going First Minister Ian Paisley in attending rather than a certain memorialisation. But it’s left to the Belfast Telegraph, which references a figure of £150million to £200million, to suggest the possible catch

It is understood Executive Ministers were given details of the package at their meeting yesterday, but warned that going public too early could affect the pension funds involved on the stock exchange. Then came an invitation from New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jnr, in which it was announced he would hold a press conference with the two leaders.

They are to be joined by trustees from New York City Pension Funds announcing “the largest public investment to date in Northern Ireland,” the invitation read. Some sources last night suggested the investment could involve a degree of “asset-stripping” in the province which could prove controversial.

Adds The announcement, of the setting up of Emerald Infrastructure Development Fund LP, by the NYC Comptroller is here

More than half of Emerald’s total investments will be put towards projects that operate either exclusively in Northern Ireland or both parts of the island. The remainder are expected to be “green” investments in Northern America, predominantly in the renewable and clean energy, waste re-use, and environmental sectors.

And the announcement also indicates the areas of investment here on behalf of the New York City Pension Funds

Thompson’s announcement marks the largest ever public investment from the United States in Northern Ireland. The $150 million investment will be managed by the Emerald Development Managers LLC, and will primarily target projects in the alternative energy, waste management, property development and conventional energy sectors. Emerald has made a commitment to focus on new assets in order to create value and jobs in Northern Ireland.

Examples of these assets will include the following facilities: renewable and clean energy; waste management, re-use and handling; conventional energy and distribution; and healthcare. Other projects will involve public infrastructure, such as light rail, water, and seaports, and real estate ventures, including commercial, hospitality, and retail developments. [added emphasis]

More Prompted by Comrade Stalin’s question/comment below, I thought I add this possible guide to the intended approach from the announcement

Emerald is the successor to Cohen & Company LLC, a private equity firm founded in 1994 that focused on project equity and early stage venture capital investments. Emerald will manage its investments from offices in New York City and Belfast.

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  • Norton

    I’m just glad I don’t have any money invested in the NYC pension fund. Where is the return? Asset-stripping? What assets? Longs Fish and Chip Shop?

  • Perhaps one of the conditions that could be attached to this investment is that the Northern Ireland Irish Languge Broadcast Fund, axed by sectarian Culture Minister Edwin Poots, would be restored and enhanced.

  • DC

    “sectarian Culture Minister Edwin Poots”

    Sectarian maybe, but a definite philistine.

  • Where’s the jawbone of an ass when you need it most?

  • Steve

    Conc
    i think paisleys still using it

  • Comrade Stalin

    Definitely very suspicious. $150m isn’t a lot of money in the broad scheme of things; it might buy us a couple of road projects or a few upgrades to the railway system, but when you consider that our annual government expenditure is approximately 30 times this number, it’s really a drop in the ocean.

    Somebody somewhere has a business case; these folks are expecting a return. What is the money to be spent on ? How will the results be returned to the investors ?

  • Pete Baker

    Comrade

    There’s a possible guide to their intended approach in the announcement

    Emerald is the successor to Cohen & Company LLC, a private equity firm founded in 1994 that focused on project equity and early stage venture capital investments. Emerald will manage its investments from offices in New York City and Belfast.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    “light rail” – after the bus-based announcement the other day, I wonder if this could put trams back on the agenda!

  • Norton tells us:

    [i]”I’m just glad I don’t have any money invested in the NYC pension fund. Where is the return? Asset-stripping? What assets? Longs Fish and Chip Shop?”[/i]

    Even if he did have some money in the NYC Pension Funds, I really don;t think he has all that much to worry about since the Funds hold just a little bit less than $50 billion in assets as of last June 30. So, the investment in NI amounts to about 3/10 of 1% of the assets of the Fund.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Apparently, according to the Bellylaugh, Paisley was “stunned into silence”. Over £75m ? We’d spend that in about three weeks.

  • claptrapper

    So Thompson has said we could get half of the $175m.

    So on a good day with a fair wind we get $80m-$90m – just over 40 million quid. Over a period of years. If we can find and serve up projects that offer an attractive return with no risk. All from a guy who is fighting like crazy for the Irish vote in his campaign to succeed Bloomberg as Mayor of the Big Apple.

    You can only chuckle.

  • Brian Boru

    By “asset-stripping” do you mean the sale of public-sector companies to US investors? That isn’t a bad thing and shouldn’t be looked on as “asset-stripping” in my opinion. The NI economy is structured like East Germany. The public-sector is even more bloated and inefficient than that of the Republic. Privatisation is the way to go like in Mainland UK in the 80’s. Ultimately the smaller the public sector the less an economic burden NI will be to a future All-Ireland govt anyway.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Privatisation is the way to go like in Mainland UK in the 80’s.

    What do you want to privatize then ? Other than the transport companies, I can’t see anything ..

  • Comrade Stalin

    claptrapper, I think you’re on to something there, and that would explain why Adams and co were overreaching themselves to talk up this investment.

  • Good investment options are offered by NYC. But yet i am not clear with it. Can anybody explain it in details how this pension fund investment will work?