UNITED STATES - Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) has re-opened its Morgan Stanley Global Infrastructure Fund 1 to new investors in the United States, in anticipation of growing investment opportunities across the globe.

The Global Infrastructure Fund, formerly known as the Utilities Fund, stopped offering shares to new investors on 21 August 2008 in order to implement the name change and alter its investment strategy to invest at least 80% of the fund's assets in equity securities of companies in the infrastructure business, rather than in the equities business.

"We expect the massive investment in infrastructure - resulting from urbanization, aging infrastructure in developed countries and demand for new infrastructure in developing countries - will continue to create significant investment opportunities in companies around the world that build, operate, own or provide services to infrastructure assets," said Michael Nolan, managing director and lead portfolio manager of the Global Infrastructure Fund.

"To stimulate their economies, governments in countries around the world such as Brazil, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Australia are accelerating implementation of infrastructure projects," he added.

MSIM currently has $445m (€342m) in assets in this fund and said has no specific target amount it wants to raise, though the company does have plans to make a similar strategy available for international investors later this year.

The fund is currently the largest infrastructure mutual fund in the US, holding approximately 800 stocks, and is managed by its quantitative and structured solutions (QSS') equity investment team. It uses a "multi-strategy investment approach" that provides exposure to infrastructure sectors, various communication stocks and firms likely to benefit from infrastructure spending, and aims to add excess return and target a beta of around 1 to the S&P Global Infrastructure Index.

Randy Takian, managing director and head of Morgan Stanley retail and intermediary distribution, said: "We believe infrastructure is one of several alternative investment opportunities that can enhance our investors' portfolio efficiency, increasing return per unit of risk," he added.

Nolan claimed infrastructure is one of the key investment priorities of the President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

Together with its affiliates, MSIM had approximately $399bn assets under management or supervision on 30 November 2008.