The delayed Trans Mountain pipeline is set to begin filling with Canadian crude next month, and the CEO of one of Canada’s largest investment funds says he would consider purchasing the pipeline when the federal government decides to sell it.

“We have an active file on Trans Mountain,” Evan Siddall, CEO of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), told BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman in an interview Thursday.

“We would look at it. The government knows that, and we're keeping track of the situation.”

The federal Liberals bought the controversial pipeline in 2018 to save the expansion of the project to the Pacific coast from cancellation amid opposition in British Columbia. They’ve since said they plan to sell it once the project is complete.

Global diversification

AIMCo invests globally and manages nearly $160 billion in assets on behalf of 17 pension, endowment, insurance and government fund clients in Alberta.

Siddall said the fund currently invests about 44 per cent of its capital within Canada, which he added is “probably higher than we should be.”

In addition to diversifying its investments within Canada, Siddall said the fund is looking at expanding its reach in places like Australia, South America and China.

“China is a cheap place right now,” he said, noting that “it may be cheap for a reason,” but he still thinks there’s likely good value to be found in Chinese markets.

“We're significantly underweight in that region, but we're looking at it all the time. We're not opposed to the idea of investing in China … while it's not high growth now, contrarian investing tends to pay off.”

Housing 'a good investment'

Siddall said he believes Canada’s overall economic productivity, which has lagged behind other western nations in recent years, has been impacted by the heavy flow of capital into housing.

“We've made it too easy to invest in housing, and that's sucked investment capital out of retail investors, and out of institutions,” he said. “It does make sense to think about what that means.”

However, Siddall said AIMCo remains actively invested in multi-family housing in Canada.

“We think it's a good investment,” he said.

“It's a strong market in Canada and it will continue to be strong. It’s safe, and we have a very strong support structure around housing in Canada from a financial point of view.”