Writing for The Asset, Commerzbank’s Agnes Vargas and Hans Krohn assess the opportunities that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may bring for Europe’s small- and medium-sized enterprises, and how they can engage with the project.
While the “first phase” of the BRI – the construction of large-scale infrastructure – largely excludes SMEs across Central Europe, it is the “second phase” – financing and trade opportunities along these revived trading corridors – for which international financial institutions should be preparing.
Given the enormity and volume of the infrastructure projects defining the first phase, it is likely to be some years until these projects will link to enable the second phase’s transcontinental trade flow. So for the time being, European SMEs should treat the BRI as a lesson in patience. In the meantime, advise Vargas and Krohn, financial institutions should take advantage of the time they have to prepare.
To read the full article, please click here (requires subscription).
Natixis acted as Sole Structuring Bank and Sole Arranger for the first issue of asset backed securities (ABS) backed by a portfolio of renewable energy plants (REBS) sponsored by Glennmont Partners, for a total amount of EUR 51.5 million (USD 58m).
The proceeds of the issue have been applied to acquire a portfolio of project finance loan agreements disbursed to finance or refinance the construction of eight wind farms totalling 52 MW and six solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with a combined capacity of 14.4 MW.
The news was covered by reNEWS, Energy Rev, Renewables Now, PFI, Private Equity Wire, TXF, MfDowJones, Citywire, Investire, Energia & Mercato, Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Messaggero, Il Giornale.
Despite global trade facing a multitude of challenges, including U.S.-China trade tensions and increasing protectionist policies, Asian trade remains robust. Writing for The Asian Banker, BNY Mellon’s Arnon Goldstein and Joon Kim discuss the resilience of Asian trade and Asia’s position as not only an anchor, but an engine, for global trade.
According to Goldstein and Kim, as Asia’s import and export markets strengthen and countries such as Vietnam pick up the baton from China as key low-end manufacturers, while China moves to a more consumer-driven economy, Asian trade is well positioned to continue flourishing.
To read the full article, please click here.
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.
Natixis acted as mandated arranger, sole coordinator, bookrunner and sustainable development coordinator for the issuance of a €100 million loan by French power producer Voltalia – the first green and sustainable syndicated loan for a European independent power producer.
“By supporting Voltalia in this new operation, Natixis confirms its long-term commitment with this client, and its determination to deliver innovative solutions underpinned by its strategic commitment to green and sustainable finance based on three pillars: innovation, service and integrity” said Marc Vincent, Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking and Member of the Senior Management Committee, Natixis.
Following outreach by Moorgate, the news was covered by the following specialist publications: Environmental Finance, FinanzNarichten, DGAP, Renewables Now, Bloomberg, La Mia Finanza, Il Sole 24 Ore, PV Magazine, IJGlobal, TXF, Solarnews and EticaNews.
Natixis has teamed up with Groupama Gan Vie, a subsidiary of the Groupama Group, to launch the first green structured note that is entirely supportive of the energy transition. The move reflects both groups’ proactive approach to the fight against climate change.
The product offers a means to directly finance renewable energy projects in order to ensure more environmentally-respectful energy production. The funds collected will be invested exclusively in wind, solar, hydraulic and biomass projects that respect responsible management criteria. The structured not will be issued by Natixis and launched on 1 May.
Elie Bitton, Head of EMEA Sales and Global Head of Financial Engineering, Natixis Global Markets, said: “We are proud today to be able to offer an investment solution that is 100% committed to the climate, and we thank Groupama for its trust and confidence in this high-profile operation.”
Following outreach from Moorgate, news of the launch was covered by El Asesor Financiero, Noticias Canarias, Structured Retail Products, International Advisor, Compelo and Investment Europe.
What key trends do infrastructure investors face in 2019? For one, nationalist and populist movements are on the rise – creating an environment of heightened political risk, which investors may find hard to navigate. The result could weigh heavily on regulatory stability, as well as country risk or sovereign credit quality.
In tandem, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters are beginning to rise in prominence. Increasingly, investors are stepping up their focus in their investment mandates on companies that are seen as acting more sustainably.
Against this backdrop, the latest edition of Outlook keeps investors abreast of the most-read research from the past quarter – offering insights into how the Infrastructure segment is changing and, importantly, how it may yet evolve.
Outlook is available in PDF here
Moorgate compiles, edits and designs Infrastructure Finance Outlook.
A changing geopolitical landscape could adversely affect traffic volumes in the transportation infrastructure sector, as U.S.-China trade tensions escalate and Brexit approaches.
S&P Global Ratings’ analysts recently spoke to Drew Campbell, i3 senior editor, IREI, about the ramifications for transportation assets.
Specifically in the case of Brexit, one possible outcome is increased spending to balance any downside. S&P’s analysts respond: “As U.K lawmakers attempt to offset the prospects of slower economic growth following Brexit, investment in infrastructure could accelerate.”
Read the article here
With Brexit fast approaching and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity on the rise, S&P Global Ratings’ senior director, Julyana Yokota, explores what 2019 may have in store for airport operators.
The primary consideration is Brexit. “Questions remain over how the impact of Brexit could hinder traffic growth – most notably for UK airport operators,” writes Yokota.
M&A activity continues to represent a key trend. In France, for instance, a recent law has permitted the sale of stakes in Aerports de Paris – the operator of the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. France-based infrastructure group Vinci, which currently holds an 8% stake in ADP, is keen to pursue this opportunity.
Read the article here
S&P Global Ratings has published two comprehensive studies of defaults and recoveries in the infrastructure sector.
The first report found that infrastructure sector experienced net positive rating movements in 2017, with 114 upgrades and 87 downgrades – reversing the negative trends seen in 2015 and 2016.
The second report, which explores defaults and recoveries between 1995 and2016, found that the 10-year cumulative default rate for unrated project finance bank loans was 6.3%, though this figure drops to 5.85% when only core sectors are considered. The default rate is lower still for public-private partnership (PPP) projects, including the U.K.’s PFI scheme (5.6%), which according to S&P demonstrates these schemes’ comparatively lower-risk nature.
The same report also concluded that the annual default gap between OECD and emerging markets has narrowed over the past decade – a probable result of the financial crisis, which affected advanced economies more.
Following Moorgate’s outreach, Global Capital, Project Finance International, and TXF covered the news (these items sit behind paywalls).