Soros Fund Raises $1B in Capital Funding for Irish Capital Markets
Irish investors have welcomed the recent announcement by Soros Fund Management that it will raise up to $1 billion in funding to support Irish capital markets.
According to the fund, the new capital infusion will be the first of its kind for Ireland.
Soros Fund Management (SFM), which manages the Soros Fund of America (SFA) portfolio, is the second largest private equity firm in the world, having recently acquired a portfolio of about $30 billion in assets.
The SFM fund has been the target of a wave of negative publicity over its investments in controversial global businesses, including companies involved in the Iran nuclear deal and its attempts to acquire private equity company Gilt Groupe, which is one of the world’s largest property developers.
“We are very proud of the Irish Government and we will do everything possible to support Ireland’s capital markets and businesses,” said Soros Fund Managing Director Tom Phelan in a statement.
On the eve of the launch of its €500 million ($520 million) €1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) investment in the Irish Stock Exchange, Soros Fund had already invested in Ireland’s private equity sector, which has seen a surge in investment and has also been one of its largest supporters.
In the recent past, the firm has also lent its support to Irish banks.
Ireland’s banking sector is in need of a boost in capital, and Soros Fund has previously pledged €1 billion ($2.1 billion) to improve its financial stability.
With the recent capital injection, Soros will continue to support the Irish banks, which have been hit hard by the collapse of the British pound, and will continue its support for Irish businesses and Irish workers.
Last year, Soros had also announced plans to invest €1,000 million ($1,200 million) in the investment arm of the European Banking Authority.
Phelan added that Soros Fund’s new funding would also be used to increase its support of Ireland’s public sector.
Irish President Leo Varadkar, who is also a shareholder in the fund and a director of the company, had said recently that the investment would boost the country’s economy, which was already on the verge of a record-breaking recovery.
However, the government has been criticised by many of the countrys largest companies, including the biggest bank, BNP Paribas, and the biggest energy utility, Eir, for its perceived attempts to privatise the country.
Earlier this year, the IMF estimated that Ireland’s economy would have to increase by 2.5 per cent in the next five years to maintain a growth rate of 3.5 percent.
Since the economic crisis, Soros has invested in the country through a series of initiatives to support its private sector and its public sector, including providing loans, helping it with a €600 million ($650 million) loan to support an Irish government pension scheme, and providing support for the construction of a new airport at Shannon Airport in Co Galway.