May 27, 2024

Rishi Sunak announces UK investment pledges at the Global Business Summit

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Rishi Sunak will on Monday highlight nearly £30bn of long-term investment pledges by global companies at a major trade event aimed at highlighting Britain's attractiveness to global investors.

More than 200 executives are scheduled to attend the summit in London, including Blackstone Chairman Stephen Schwarzman, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, and Aviva's Amanda Blank.

The Global Investment Summit is part of the government's drive to boost investment in the UK and revive the economy, which the Bank of England expects to remain steady until 2025.

The Hampton Court Palace event comes days after Sunak and Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt gave businesses £11bn a year in tax relief in the Autumn Statement by making the 'full spend' capital allowance system permanent.

Sunak will claim that the £29.5bn figure revealed at Monday's conference is three times the amount of money “raised” from the last summit in 2021 and that the investments will create thousands of jobs.

“Today’s investments… will create thousands of new jobs and represent a major vote of confidence in the future of the UK economy.

The largest investment pledge came from IFM Investors, a major Australian infrastructure investor, which said it intends to spend £10 billion over the next four years on large-scale infrastructure and energy transition projects in the UK.

David Neale, chief executive of IFM, which manages $140 billion, said: “We are proud to sign this memorandum of understanding with the UK government, which is a signal of the confidence IFM and Australian super funds have in the UK as a place to exchange money.” “Invest.”

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Just last month, IFM, a major shareholder in Manchester Airport, said it was holding back from making further major investments in the UK due to government dysfunction and ineffective planning processes.

Luba Nikulina, chief strategy officer at IFM, told the Financial Times at the time that while the group wanted to make new investments in the UK, “we need to find financially attractive opportunities, but at the moment, there are not many of them.”

Nikolina said UK infrastructure was struggling to attract the necessary private investment due to uncertainty over policy direction, rising costs and labor shortages post-Brexit.

“The biggest concern is uncertainty, which is not good for long-term capital,” she said in an interview shortly after Sunak canceled the northern leg of the HS2 rail project.

The investment package unveiled by Sunak includes Iberdrola, owner of Scottish Power, with a “confirmed investment of £7bn” from 2026 to 2028, on top of previously announced funding for projects from 2023 to 2025.

Other investments highlighted by Sunak included a £5 billion commitment from Australian investment fund Aware Super and a £2.5 billion pledge from Microsoft to build AI infrastructure in the UK including data centres.

Monday's summit, which will include a celebration of “British ideas – past, present and future”, will be followed by a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by King Charles III.