JLIF in advanced discussions on first Chilean deal

The fund is in talks over a transport investment and describes the Latin American infrastructure market as ‘highly sought after’ for foreign institutional investors.

London-listed John Laing Infrastructure Fund has revealed it is in advanced discussions regarding a possible transport investment in Chile.

A successful conclusion of negotiations would mark the fund’s first investment in the Chilean market and its fourth outside Europe. The fund owns two hospital concessions in Canada and operates 23 motorway service stations in Connecticut.

While JLIF declined to disclose further details on the potential investment, it described Chilean infrastructure assets as “highly sought after by foreign institutional investors” in its interim results released yesterday.

“Chile is a very stable South American country that invested quite heavily in PPP infrastructure some years ago and is now starting to see a strong secondary market,” David Hardy, JLIF’s lead investment advisor, told Infrastructure Investor. “It’s a market we’ve highlighted as being of interest and we’re not the only ones interested in it.”

The fund also continues to monitor developments in Australia as a potential new market where assets are available following significant privatisations in the social and transport sectors.

JLIF’s latest half-year results pointed to a £37.6 million ($49.9 million; €41.7 million) year-on-year fall in profits to £34.7 million, although Hardy stated this was largely due to exceptional proceeds driven by disposals in the previous year. The fund’s net asset value increased 11.5 percent from the end of last year to £1.2 billion.