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UK Roundtable 2020: Synopsis
Published: 1st July
For four years, infrastructure asset owners in the UK were ridden with worry. The precarious nature of the post-referendum government combined with the threat of an opposition party intent on nationalising assets previously considered gold standard in the infrastructure world.
The Conservative Party’s victory in the December 2019 election brought an end to both of these threats and brought a new government with an array of promises on infrastructure to “level up” the UK. While the National Infrastructure Strategy was dropped from the new government’s first Budget in March amid coronavirus firefighting, there was still billions of pounds pledged to support the energy, transport and digital infrastructure sectors.
Our 2020 UK infrastructure roundtable will assess what this new era means for managers, addressing the following questions and more:
- Uncertainty across sectors caused some LPs to hit the pause button on UK investment. Has this changed since the election and what is the general feeling among LPs towards UK investment today?
- In relation to this, how important for you is a successful outcome to Brexit trade negotiations?
- The UK has firmly ruled out public-private partnerships and much of the £640 billion of infrastructure investments announced in the Budget will be publicly funded. Is there a concern the government is crowding out private investment and how do you respond to this?
- If government projects do not form part of the private sector pipeline, where do you see the main opportunities for managers like yourselves?
- Regulated assets such as water and electricity have received final determinations for new price periods. Do these assets still represent realistic opportunities for fund managers and is it more difficult to realise such an investment if you already own one?
- In light of decisions on Heathrow and Bristol Airports expansion and the coronavirus, what are the growth prospects for UK airports and do they still represent value for infrastructure investors?
- On renewables, do recent government announcements on CfDs provide reasons for optimism and how comfortable are you with merchant risk?
- There have to date been a limited number of investments in EV charging infrastructure. Is this a sector that is ready for private investment?
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