Transport sector hits accelerator

Last year was unquestionably the year of energy deals. According to data compiled by Infrastructure Investor Research & Analytics, the energy sector accounted for eight of the top ten global infrastructure deals in 2013.

With the $9 billion Nghi Son Refinery project in Vietnam at the top of the tree, energy racked up $114 billion worth of deals compared with the $70 billion for transport.

A quick glance at the top ten deals below will be all that’s required to see that, so far this year, things are panning out rather differently. While the largest deal (Lundin Petroleum in Norway) is once again claimed by energy, the next five are all transport deals – including the likes of SH 99 Grand Parkway in the US and the Porterbrook Rail refinancing in the UK.

Of course, with just three months completed so far, it’s early days and a lot can change in the remainder of the year. That said, the mandated lead arranger table already has a fairly familiar look about it. The strong Japanese influence in the wake of the global financial crisis continues to be evident, with SMBC in first place and Mitsubishi UFJ in sixth.

Interestingly, however, the impact of the Australian banks – which made their presence felt increasingly strongly during 2013 – has been maintained in the early months of this year. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia will be pleased to see their names appearing in second and third places respectively.

Last year saw Western Europe come from behind to overhaul Asia Pacific as the world’s most active region for infrastructure projects. The first three months of 2014 indicated that another close race was in prospect, with Asia Pacific claiming a 31.64 percent share of global deals during the period and Western Europe 31.47 percent.

The US takes the crown as the busiest individual market, with more than $7 billion, ahead of Australia in second.