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Wars and rumors of wars: Emerging markets have a huge need for infrastructure investment and can offer highly favorable returns. Institutional investors can no longer afford to dismiss them as too dangerous.
Wars, nationalizations, civil strife, government defaults — these are only a few of the risks that might spring to mind when one is asked to consider investing in emerging markets.
They are risks that are wholly at odds with the characteristic view of why institutional investors like investing in infrastructure — long-dated, steady returns from an asset operating in a stable regulatory environment.
However, just as established markets sometimes fail in giving investors the stability they crave — witness, for example, the Norwegian government’s slashing of tariffs on the Gassled pipeline — so too, not all emerging markets are made equal.
Indeed, with a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Oxford Economics claiming that developing economies now account for half of all global infrastructure spending, it is implausible to claim that all of this development is taking place in the kind of war-torn basket case countrie