The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is to invest in Asia-Pacific infrastructure for the first time.

The US pension fund has formed a AUD1bn (€709m) joint venture with Australia’s QIC, which will source and manage assets.

Paul Mouchakkaa, senior investment officer for real assets at CalPERS, said the partnership was a “great opportunity” to expand the fund’s infrastructure portfolio and enter the Asia-Pacific market. 

CalPERS last year revealed it would invest in two global infrastructure funds, but it has yet to invest in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The fund approved a $300m (€270m) commitment to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners II and $250m to the UBS International Infrastructure Fund II in August last year.

Ross Israel, head of QIC’s Global Infrastructure, said the decision to co-invest with CalPERS was made after discussions over “a number of years” between the pair.

Israel said: “This partnership, in combination with the launch earlier this year of the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund and other separately managed account clients, increases the size, scope and level of control QIC can bring to future infrastructure opportunities for the benefit of all our clients.”

In February, QIC said it raised £338m (€472m) for a global infrastructure fund from institutional investors, including an Asian sovereign wealth fund and an Australian pension scheme. 

The expectation among market observers is that more capital will come out of Australia in the coming months as its state governments begin to privatise infrastructure assets.