Listed infrastructure takes hit as stocks plunge

The asset class is suffering less than the wider equities market, but investor fright takes toll on blue-chip names.

Yesterday, 51.9 percent of Britons chose to exit the EU – today investors are voting with their cash.

The FTSE 100 fell by as much as 8.7 percent as the London Stock Exchange opened, taking stock of a result neither the latest polls nor betting odds had anticipated. The blue-chip index paired back losses to 4.9 percent, but the FTSE 250 – widely deemed a better proxy to the domestic economy – initially dropped 12.3 percent before recovering to -7.1 percent.

Listed infrastructure stocks, usually deemed more resilient than the average, did not suffer to the same extent. Still, they took an initial hit rarely seen during previous economic and political shocks, recovering only slowly as the morning progressed.

3i Infrastructure, the largest London-listed infrastructure investment company with a market capitalisation of about £1.82 billion ($2.50 billion; €2.26 billion), sunk 5.4 percent at around 8.45am before climbing back up to -1.8 percent at about 2pm.

The swing came after 3i Infrastructure charmed the markets earlier this month, collecting £385 million in what it then billed as “the largest fundraise in the UK listed infrastructure space” since its 2007 IPO. But the company still held far better than its £5.4 billion parent, 3i Group, which was still down 9.3 percent just before 3pm.

John Laing Infrastructure Fund
, which has a market capitalisation of £1.12 billion, lost 3.2 percent by 8:40pm before pairing back losses to less than 2 percent in the early afternoon. John Laing Environmental Fund, its green investment-focused counterpart, did worse, falling 5 percent in the early morning before recovering to -3 percent in the afternoon.

Another listed infrastructure stalwart, International Public Partnerships, lost 3 percent before recovering to -0.2 percent. The company has a market cap of about £1.48 billion. UK-listed yieldcos, like Greencoat UK Wind, Bluefield Solar Income Fund and The Renewable Infrastructure Group, stood at between -1.5 percent and -2.5 percent by mid-afternoon.

Compounding these effects were wild movements on the currency markets, with the pound slumping to its worse level in nearly three decades.