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Indian toll roads better than US, PSP director says

Lamenting the state of opportunities in the US, Steven Sonnenstein described the country as an ‘emerging market’.

Toll roads in India are riper for investment than their counterparts in the US, said Steven Sonnenstein, a senior director at Canadian pension investment manager PSP, at Infrastructure Investor’s Emerging Markets Forum in Berlin.

Sonnenstein expressed excitement at President Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar infrastructure investment plan given what he regards as the poor quality of infrastructure in the US and the “unproven” regulatory regime.

The PSP director also described the US as an “emerging market” itself, criticising the “antiquated” system that makes investment in the country’s assets so challenging.

Sonnenstein was speaking on a panel assessing political and regulatory risk that also included Ian Dixon, managing director and analytical head of EMEA and APAC Infrastructure at Fitch Ratings. Dixon noted that many investors are looking long-term, past potential hurdles including Donald Trump and Brexit. A snap poll of the 200-strong investor audience indicated 50 percent have increased their allocations to emerging market opportunities since last year UK and US polls.

Aygen Yayikoglu, managing partner of Turkey-focused investment manager Crescent Capital, noted a difference of perception between eastern and western investors regarding the Turkish market since last summer’s attempted coup. He observed a “large influx” of capital has entered the country in recent months, led by Chinese, Korean and Gulf investors, while also predicting further investment from Turkish pension funds.

Yayikoglu pointed towards yesterday’s awarding of a 1GW solar project in Turkey to a consortium between local firm Kalyon Holding and South Korean company Hanwha Corp after the pair lodged an offer of 6.99 US cents per kWh for the mammoth project.