September 2011 Issue

    Month: September
    Year: 2011

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    Spain: turbulence ahead

    The Spanish government wants to net at least €10bn from the privatisation of airports in Madrid and Barcelona. But a high price tag and upcoming elections in November suggest the privatisation might be a bumpy ride, writes Bruno Alves

    Portugal: The sun goes down

    Portugal was Europe’s third-largest PPP market last year. But with all future deals suspended, the hope of salvation now lies in a €5bn privatisation programme, writes Bruno Alves

    Mr Versatility

    For PGGM, investing directly in infrastructure meant creating its own €1.25bn infrastructure fund, which is close to being fully invested. But PGGM has other channels into the asset class, too. Henk Huizing, the pension administrator’s head of infrastructure, tells Bruno Alves the story behind its recent developer joint ventures, the circumstances in which he uses traditional GP funds – and why regulatory risk is the biggest risk in infrastructure today

    More than one game in town

    As the infrastructure asset class matures, two quite different types of investment are emerging. Former Allianz Capital Partners chief executive Thomas Putter explains why an understanding of this is so crucial.

    Striking a new path

    Michael Dorrell and Trent Vichie, former leaders of Blackstone’s infrastructure division, have launched their own firm, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.

    The rise of the municipalities

    Infrastructure public-private partnerships are still flowing in post-recession Canada but, with state funding tight, municipalities are taking on a more prominent role.

    No holding back

    Canada has become one of the world’s leading proponents of public-private partnerships. And arguably the most instrumental figure has been the country’s Minister of Finance, James Flaherty – for which he picks up this year’s Infrastructure Investor Minister of the Year award.

    The billion-dollar debt hit

    Infrastructure debt funds have been a talking point for a while, but with little in the way of tangible achievement on the fundraising trial. And then along came Westbourne Capital.

    Reaching for the lifebelt

    Beset by debt crises and stalling economies, institutional investors are grasping for lifelines. Infrastructure, while not immune from the challenges of the day, can nonetheless offer a relative safe haven.

    Back from the brink

    A regional planning agency has acquired the remaining lease on California’s South Bay Expressway, which went bankrupt last year. It’s not the agency’s first dealings with the toll road.

    The problems of a graceful withdrawal

    The EIB hopes that its project bond initiative will help it step back from the prominent lending role it has assumed following the global financial crisis. But the new initiative may originate another cycle of EIB-dependence.

    Get real

    In a research report, a leading Swiss investment group recommends investing in real assets and companies.

    Nationalisation, anyone?

    The Treasury Select Committee, a parliamentary body, suggests the government might buy up PFI debt and equity post-construction.

    The touting of TIFIA

    Proposals to reauthorise surface transportation lending have highlighted the TIFIA lending programme as a way to support PPPs. How TIFIA has emerged from the South Bay Expressway bankruptcy is crucial to this.

    The sun rises again

    After retroactive cuts to its subsidy regime announced last year, the previously popular Spanish solar photovoltaic industry looked set to disappear from GPs’ radars. Now investors are now warming to the sector once more.

    Stagflation, the foul-weather friend

    A recent survey highlighted the attractive aspects of infrastructure investing against a backdrop of stagflation. But is this really something to celebrate?

    Let me have a go

    As more institutional investors buy infrastructure assets directly, they will be hoping that their risk/return calculations pay off.

    On a different track

    Following the closing of the €7.8bn Tours-Bordeaux high-speed rail line, Eiffage and rail agency RFF have secured financing for the €3.3bn Bretagne Pays de la Loire line. But the latter has a fundamentally different risk profile than the former, which is highlighted in the financing.

    Imagine this

    The point of a new study into US high-speed rail possibilities is to identify ‘what’s real and what’s imaginary’.

    The Lady is not for moving

    New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge is due for an upgrade. But don’t count on changing the bridge’s locale, unless you want to uproot Lady Liberty first.

    Dead serious in Krakow

    Poland’s second-largest city is taking the concept of public-private partnerships onto new territory through its plan to build a cemetery with a little help from the private sector.

    Tube ‘soap opera’ – a new episode

    Not content with eradicating the public-private partnership to refurbish the London Underground, Mayor Boris Johnson is now going after legal advisor Freshfields.