Europe builds momentum

Western Europe strikes back. After a quarter that witnessed Asia-Pacific take an impressive lead in terms of deal activity, data freshly compiled by Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics shows the region climbing to the top spot again in Q3.

Boosted by a number of mammoth re-financings – including that of the Castor UGS and Brussels Airport projects, both worth more than $2 billion – Western Europe chalked up over $15 billion of transactions in the three months to end September, up from $12 billion in the previous quarter. This allowed it to trump Asia’s 23 percent market share with 32 percent of global deals.

This resurgence was mainly down to a small number of markets, however. The UK, at around $5 billion, came first in the country league. Spain and the Netherlands also fared well, at $3.2 billion and $2.2 billion respectively. Yet other European nations fell off the top 10, and the table was otherwise dominated by the US, India and Australia.

The third quarter also saw transport closing much of its gap with energy, the undisputed hot space of Q2. Helped by the financial close of Mumbai’s $3.7 billion metro corridor – the largest deal of the period – the sector recorded more than $16 billion in Q3, while energy fell from almost $32 billion to $17.4 billion. Renewables, neck-and-neck with transport in the previous period, dropped to $6 billion.

Meanwhile Japanese banks again showed their might as lead arrangers, with third-ranked Mitsubishi, whose deal book value fell from $2.4 billion to $722 million, losing its Q2 top position to Sumitomo (which posted $1.5 billion). French lenders proved to be notable challengers: Groupe BPCE claimed second ($962 million) while Société Générale came fifth ($557 million).

This rejigging of league tables underlines a healthy recovery in overall activity compared with the same period last year. Although total deal value posted in the third quarter, at almost $48 billion, was slightly down on Q2 2013, it is a big improvement on the $32 billion recorded in Q3 2012.