Credit quality for the North American regulated utility industry weakened in 2020, which saw downgrades outpace upgrades for the first time in a decade. However, the industry generally performed well throughout the pandemic and S&P expects it will continue to mostly manage through the remaining COVID-19-related risks. Despite a negative 2021 industry outlook, S&P expects a modest improvement to credit quality over the next 12 months.
Speaking to Utility Dive, Gabe Grosberg, Senior Director at S&P Global Ratings, discusses the challenges the sector has faced in the past year, and its prospects moving forward.
Read the full article here.
S&P Global Ratings has today published the latest edition of Infrastructure Finance Outlook, the newsletter bringing together in-depth sector analysis and research from across the Infrastructure practice.
This edition focuses on the energy transition and the growing importance of ESG, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated existing trends in the sector. The economic disruption caused by the pandemic is also likely to prompt a new cycle of sustainable infrastructure investment, especially now that the outcome of the US election has become clear.
Read the full newsletter here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the energy sector. Writing in Euractiv, Simon Redmond and Elena Anankina, Senior Directors at S&P Global Ratings, analyse the contrasting effects of the outbreak on the oil and natural gas sectors, and the implications for the wider energy transition.
Oil has suffered the most pronounced short-term impact of all energy sources, with demand falling by over 20 million barrels a day in March and April 2020 alone. On the other hand, gas has remained relatively resilient to the immediate impacts of the pandemic.
The downside for gas, rather, is expected to be longer term: its role as a “bridge fuel” is set to be shortened by an expedited transition to renewables. And, while oil demand has taken a short-term hit, its long term trajectory is set to be largely unchanged. The full article, in Euractiv, can be found here.
Widespread coronavirus-related lockdowns and general economic downturn have had an unprecedented effect on global air traffic, which is projected to be down 55% in 2020. Writing in Aerotime, Julyana Yokota, Senior Director, Infrastructure, at S&P Global Ratings, takes a look at the implications for the global airport sector.
While airports generally enjoy stronger liquidity positions than airlines, they are now facing significant credit stress – especially given the uncertainty surrounding aeronautical revenue. With aviation charges likely to be lower due to a weakened airline sector, airports must make an effort to diversify their revenue streams. Some level of structural change in the airport sector is inevitable, however the asset class’ infrastructural significance is means it is likely to survive the turbulent times ahead.
The full article can be found here.
S&P Global Ratings recently scored a proposed C$750 million issuance from public-private partnership (PPP) Mobilinx Hurontario General Partnership E1/87 under its Green Evaluation.
The E1/87 score represents the highest on the Green Evaluation E1-E4 scale, and comprises a Governance score of 83, Transparency score of 77, and a Mitigation score of 91.
As well as being the first Green Evaluation in Canada, the score also marks S&P Global Ratings’ first Green Evaluation on a PPP.
Proceeds will be used to design, build, finance, operate, maintain and rehabilitate the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Ontario, Canada.
Following outreach by Moorgate, the Green Evaluation was covered by: IJGlobal, Proximo, and InfraNews.
In its second ever Green Evaluation carried out in India, S&P Global Ratings has assigned an overall score of E1/90 to Adani Green Energy Ltd. Restricted Group 2’s proposed US$362.5 million green bond issuance. The E1/90 score is the highest on the Green Evaluation scale of E1-E4, and comprises a Transparency score of 89, a Governance score of 90, and a Mitigation score of 90.
“Adani’s intention to use 100% of the proceeds for solar photovoltaic power projects is the main driver of the high score,” said Cheng Jia Ong, the primary analyst of the Green Evaluation.
Following outreach by Moorgate, news of the Green Evaluation was covered by PV-Magazine, Renewables Now and Global Capital (behind paywall).
S&P Global Ratings has assigned Bazalgette Tunnel Ltd’s £75 million fixed-rate senior secured green note issuance a score of E1/95 under its Green Evaluation, representing the highest score on the E1-E4 scale. Proceeds from the issuance will be used to design, build and maintain the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London.
Noemie de la Gorce, the primary analyst of the Green Evaluation, commented on the “positive environmental impact from the increase of available fresh water in the tidal Thames from wastewater treatment, as well as carbon savings.”
Following Moorgate’s outreach, news of the Green Evaluation was covered by WaterBriefing and The Water Report and Global Legal Chronicle.
For Australia’s infrastructure corporates, a multitude of risks lie on the horizon. Despite boasting years of robust growth, a more subdued outlook emerges for the near-term, driven by increasingly volatile market conditions. And driving growth in the longer term will call for substantial infrastructure investment. It is no surprise, then, that observers might ask: are the country’s corporates well prepared to manage these pressures?
Writing for Infrastructure Investor, S&P Global Ratings’ Parvathy Iyer argues that it seems so.
The key for corporates overcoming softer revenues and a challenging economic climate, Iyer argues, will be timing flexibility. And while Australia’s infrastructure sector has significant capital expenditure in progress or under consideration, companies spanning the airport and port sectors should have some freedom to alter their timing and level of spending in response to the economic climate.
To read the full article, please click here (behind paywall).
S&P Global Ratings has published 2019’s first edition of Infrastructure Finance Outlook, its newsletter of key infrastructure and project finance-related research and ratings news.
In this edition, S&P Global Ratings considers global infrastructure investment trends, spanning China, the GCC and the Americas, along with the regulatory and political risk factors across these regions.
With global political uncertainties on the rise, infrastructure investors are even more focused on long-term sustainability. And, as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are rising to the fore of investment strategies, the credit rating agency dedicates this edition to providing greater insight to its newest offering, the ESG Evaluation.
Please see the full newsletter in PDF here.
S&P Global Ratings’ Gloria Lu, Senior Director of Corporate & Infrastructure Ratings, Asia Pacific, and Abhishek Dangra, Director, Asia Pacific Corporate Ratings, recently discussed the looming volatility shadowing Asia’s infrastructure market for Brink News, offering their own views and potential responses to increasing risks proliferating in the region.
Discussing the refinancing risks that China may face as a third of the market’s debt approaches maturity in the coming months, Lu and Dangra consider some options available to mitigate external pressures, such as political and regulatory reform.
Read the full article here.