July 5, 2018 / 6:21 PM / a year ago

Ireland to refocus sovereign wealth fund on government priorities

Construction cranes and buildings in the financial district are seen at sunrise in Dublin, Ireland November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland is to refocus its 8 billion euro (£7.07 billion) sovereign wealth fund from a broad investment strategy to a focus on interventions in government priority areas such as housing and the impact of Brexit, the government announced on Thursday.

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) was established in 2014 from the National Pensions Reserve Fund with a mandate to invest “on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.”

Recent investments include a 10 million euro equity investment in Irish medical technology company Mainstay Medical and a 75 million euro commitment to an investment fund focusing on high-growth companies seeking access to Irish and Chinese markets.

In future the fund will instead focus on government priorities such as the Project Ireland 2040 infrastructure plan, supporting housing delivery and investing in sectors adversely affected by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

The government has already committed 1.5 billion euros of ISIF funds to the government’s rainy day fund and 750 million euros to the Home Building Ireland Finance initiative.

“The reallocation and refocusing of ISIF’s funds will better target Government interventions in addressing these challenges,” the government said in a statement.

The new plans takes account of the risks that may be posed by economic overheating “and the appropriateness of ISIF’s investment mandate given our current economic performance,” the statement said.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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