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DekaBank sets foot in Australia

The German bank is preparing for its debut financings Down Under after singling out two probable investments in 2017.

Having pinned high hopes on Australia, DekaBank is looking to make one to three deals in the market in the coming year, according to two senior executives at the lender. 

The German bank, which started exploring Asian infrastructure lending opportunities this year, has already identified two potential deals Down Under, said Dirk Mous, managing director and head of infrastructure & export finance at DekaBank. 

Both deals, one greenfield and one brownfield, are in the energy sector, a focus for the bank. Without disclosing the projects’ details, Mous said that the bank was targeting transactions in the €50-150 million range, or the equivalent in local currency. 

“What differentiates us from other local banks is that we are more willing and able to provide project financing in long tenor, like up to 20 years,” said Mous.

He added that local banks tend to offer loans of shorter tenors, typically five to seven years, than Deka, which he said could provide financing of up to 20 years.

In the first two to three years, the bank plans to lend to projects alongside local financiers, Mous said. As Deka gets more familiar with the market, it will likely start lending directly. 

Marco Albers, the bank’s managing director and head of infrastructure, transport & export finance, added that Deka has already had a presence in Asia across the logistics and aviation sectors. 

“Since Deka Group has increased mandate for infrastructure business, the bank is interested in expanding the business into Asia,” he added.

With a mandate to invest in OECD countries, the bank is currently looking to grow its business in Australia and some other Asian countries.