- October 1, 2021: Vol. 14, Number 9

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A cautious post-pandemic recovery: As the sector recovery gathers pace, global infrastructure is adapting to new pandemic-induced realities

by Andreas Kindahl

Just over a year ago, COVID-19 plunged the world into severe economic downturn as governments across the globe turned to lockdowns and mobility restrictions to tackle an unprecedented public health threat. The pandemic has left its mark on credit conditions — in 2020, we took negative rating actions on 27 percent of our corporate and infrastructure ratings and slightly less than 20 percent of project finance ratings.

Highly-leveraged companies and issuers in infrastructure sectors, heavily affected by social-distancing measures, were particularly affected — with airports, convention centers, sports stadiums and, to a lesser extent, toll roads among the worst affected.

Infrastructure has, however, proven itself a relatively resilient asset class overall: Only 10 percent of transportation infrastructure entities suffered a one-notch downgrade, whereas single- and multiple-notch downgrades affected 50 percent of the wider corporate transportation ratings universe.

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