March 2010 Issue

    Betting on Africa

    Morgan Stanley Infrastructure’s joint venture with Egyptian firm Orascom Construction is set to be a long-term marriage seeking to capitalise on Africa’s massive infrastructure needs.

    Letter from Abu Dhabi: Different strategies, different shades

    Abu Dhabi Investment Authority wants to increase its execution and managerial capabilities for real estate investments. Don’t expect a similar attitude towards private equity and infrastructure

    'In need of major investment’

    Citadel Capital, the Cairo-based private equity firm, recently announced plans to invest up to $400m over the next two years in a range of sectors in East Africa, including infrastructure. InfrastructureInvestor caught up with the firm’s founder and chairman Ahmed Heikal to get the low-down on where the money will go and why – below is an excerpt of the interview.

    Curb your enthusiasm

    Investors should think carefully whether parking belongs in their portfolio – and at what price.

    Paradise calling

    The Maldives wants to develop its infrastructure – expect plenty of help to be forthcoming.

    Foreign capital welcome

    As it seeks to bolster economic growth, Colombia is open to expert outside assistance in developing its infrastructure. Cezary Podkul spoke to Luis Guillermo Plata, minister of trade, industry and tourism, to find out more about the country’s priorities.

    Fiddling the figures (a little)

    No one seems to have told disgraced fund manager Simon Treacher that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.

    Now the real work starts

    In October last year, Brazil learnt that in 2016 it would become the first Latin American country to play host to the Olympic Games – having two years previously been awarded the 2014 soccer World Cup. The two events should provide a much-needed boost to infrastructure investment in a region where economic boom and bust has dented ambitions in the past.

    Astronomical capital needs

    Why NASA is calling on private capital.

    Moving out of the comfort zone

    The concessions unit of Austrian construction firm Strabag had a busy 2009 as it won the group’s largest ever deal – a road PPP – and struck out of its core market at a time when many of its peers were just happy to survive. Roland Jurecka, head of the concessions business, tells Bruno Alves how the company has been coping with the downturn and how a lack of opportunities close to home has encouraged an adventurous spirit

    Building Brazil

    A perennial economic ‘might-have-been’ is finally growing strong. Now it needs better infrastructure. David Snow reports

    Pension funds: Going the direct route

    Pensions have gained increasing confidence that they can invest in infrastructure assets without intermediation from GPs

    Macquarie’s Mexican roots

    With Mexican pensions beginning to embrace alternative investments, Macquarie’s already on the ground with cash in hand, evaluating opportunities. Cezary Podkul takes a look at how the organization has made its presence felt and ponders how quickly others will follow

    Fund managers: This is not private equity

    Why the attempt to impose high fees and carry was doomed to failure once it was clear infrastructure would not neatly fit the private equity template after all

    Asia’s not all about growth

    The Asian growth story is easy to explain. But translating it into a viable infrastructure investment thesis is a more complex task. In attracting $860m to a recent fundraising effort, Philip Jackson, chief executive of JPMorgan’s Asian infrastructure fund, appears to have done just that. He tells Cezary Podkul how.

    Lawyers: Putting out fires

    A tough market for infrastructure practitioners has demanded new skills of legal advisers

    Advisers: Why bankers are still bullish

    The need for governments to monetise assets has triggered a hiring spree in the advisory community

    Governments: Easing the risk transfer

    Necessary pragmatism has seen governments reaching for their cheque books

    When roads take a toll

    Toll road projects have left many investors with burnt fingers. But should this result in the avoidance of such assets, or simply a healthy dose of realism in business plans?

    Developers: Living in a world without debt

    Tougher financing conditions have prompted some abrupt strategic u-turns

    Heading in a new direction

    Amid the turbulence of recent times, infrastructure investment professionals have been challenged to do things differently in order to survive and prosper. Through the eyes of six different types of participant, we identify the key transformational developments – the “game changers” – which have altered the way investment in the asset class is approached. By Bruno Alves, Cezary Podkul and Andy Thomson

    A bubble in the making

    Plans to give stimulus-inspired bonds a longer lifespan could create strong demand among institutional buyers.

    Getting that sink feeling

    London’s mayor finds an unusual way of criticising the city’s tube PPP