Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec is building its infrastructure capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region by adding local investment talent, forging more strategic partnerships and leveraging the organization's global capabilities.
And the C$308.3 billion ($238 billion) Montreal-based institutional investor's latest infrastructure initiative in that region could accelerate a shift in focus from investments in operational brownfield infrastructure assets to greenfield projects with construction and patronage risks.
CDPQ manages the assets of Quebec's public provincial and municipal pension funds.
Cyril Cabanes, CDPQ's vice president, head of infrastructure investments, Asia-Pacific, said in a Sept. 14 interview that his team has grown significantly since he joined the organization in Singapore in early 2016, and will continue to grow along with CDPQ's portfolio of infrastructure investments in the region. He declined to provide specific numbers.
With CDPQ focused entirely on direct investments as opposed to investing through funds, identifying partners — either local partners for projects in one country, regional partners for projects in a variety of countries or global partners — is "the bedrock of what we do," Mr. Cabanes said.
It can take CDPQ's infrastructure team up to two years to forge a partnership that will last — hopefully — for 15, 20 or 25 years, he said.
CDPQ's most recent partnership, announced Sept. 13, is with Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings, one of the largest energy players in the Asia-Pacific region. Under the agreement, CDPQ took a 40% stake in CLP's energy platform in India, CLP India Pvt. Ltd., for roughly $370 million.
"We spent a lot of time with CLP," making sure the two sides shared a common vision about the business' growth prospects and a determination to deliver them, Mr. Cabanes said.