News in brief – 26 August 2022

NextEnergy Capital has announced the first close of its UK subsidiary-free solar fund, NextPower UK (NPUK) ESG, at £327m.

This is 65 per cent of NPUK ESG’s target of £500m, with the fund having a hard cap of £1bn. The commitments in first close come from investors in the UK and Middle East, including the UK Infrastructure Bank, LGPS Central Limited, Merseyside Pension Fund and Brunel Pension Partnership. The UK Infrastructure Bank is the ‘cornerstone’ investor and plans to invest up to £250m on a match funding basis. NPUK ESG is a private 10-year solar infrastructure fund focused on investing into new-build utility scale, subsidy-free solar in the UK.

Canada Life has announced further improvements to annuity rates, the 14th positive change this year.

A benchmark reference annuity of £100,000 at age 65 will now pay around £5,746 income a year, compared to £4,542 for the same annuity purchased at the start of 2022. That represents an improvement in guaranteed income of £1,204 a year, or an extra £24,000 over the course of a 20-year period. “Annuity rates have bounced back following the changes to base rate and the improvements in yields on gilts, with rates up around 30 per cent this year,” said Canada Life retirement income director, Nick Flynn.” Annuities deserve a second look on the back of such positive news and should be a consideration for anyone seeking income security in retirement.”

Aviva Investors has completed a £72.5m social housing investment with Peaks & Plains Housing Trust.

The asset management business of Aviva will provide £72.5m in funding to Peaks & Plains, a social landlord based in Macclesfield to help it continue to deliver on its plans for communities across three local authority areas in Cheshire, as well as Derbyshire, the East Midlands and the North West of England. This is the latest social housing investment made by Aviva Investors, which has also provided funding to housing associations including Wales & West, Coastal and Settle housing associations since the end of 2020.

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