Publications

- November 1, 2020: Vol. 13, Number 10

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Infrastructure on the defensive: Industry experts see coronavirus as a moment-in-time disruptor

by Kali Persall

The current COVID-19 crisis has proven the defensiveness of certain asset classes within the infrastructure space, while shining a spotlight on the vulnerability of others — even those previously thought to be resilient.

Over the past several months, traditional core assets that ranked low-to-medium on the risk spectrum took a noticeable hit, as shelter-in-place orders brought travel to a standstill, leaving many to wonder, just how defensive is infrastructure, really?

Not all infrastructure is created equal

GDP-correlated assets, such as ports, airports, and toll roads, have taken the biggest hit from the pandemic, as they are based on user traffic. As of May, the airport index fell 40 percent year-to-date, ports dropped 32 percent, toll roads were at –28 percent and rail was down –18 percent, according to a report from Whitehelm Advisors, entitled Infrastructure’s Resilience in Uncertain Times. In comparison, within the availa

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