US energy leads the way

In our league tables for the third quarter of 2014, there are two predominant themes: North America and energy.

To a fairly large extent, the two go hand in hand thanks to the US’ natural gas boom. This is illustrated by the largest deal in Q3 – the Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal near the Gulf of Mexico, which saw the completion of $10.6 billion in financing in August.

Boosted by this deal, North America in Q3 took away Western Europe’s customary top position as the leading region for infrastructure projects. It was a close-run race though, with North America accounting for $20.9 billion of deals and Western Europe $20.0 billion. Asia Pacific was in third place with $13.7 billion.

The deal also helped energy to account for more than half of all infrastructure projects by value in the third quarter (52 percent). Transport, which is normally hot on the heels of energy and occasionally ahead, on this occasion made up just 21 percent of the total. Renewables was not far behind on 14 percent.

Cameron LNG was one of two US deals in the top ten; the other being the I-4 Ultimate highway public-private partnership (PPP), which achieved a financial close on $2.3 billion in September. The UK had the most deals in the top ten, with the Premier Oil project refinancing, the Barchester Healthcare care home refinancing and the Derby Waste Treatment Facility PPP all making the cut.

In light of these deals, the US and UK unsurprisingly claimed positions one and two in the country table – the US top with $18.3 billion of deals, followed by the UK on $10.5 billion and then Australia on $10.2 billion. South America claimed fourth and fifth places with Peru ahead of Brazil.

In the mandated lead arranger (MLA) table, Japanese banks retained the grip they have had ever since the Global Financial Crisis. The third quarter saw Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group leading the way with almost $2.5 billion of deals, just ahead of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) on nearly $2.1 billion. Mizuho was two places further behind in fourth with $1.6 billion, behind the Netherlands’ ING Group on $1.7 billion.