Institutional Investing in Infrastructure

November 1, 2021: Vol. 14, Number 10

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From the Current Issue


At the center of transition: The United Kingdom looks to infrastructure to help lead toward a net-zero future

The United Kingdom, not unlike most countries, is transitioning through a set of challenges related to climate change, economic inequities and the move to a more digitally focused world. The country also is adjusting to a post-Brexit environment with the European Investment Bank no longer being able to invest in infrastructure within its borders, which helped make those investments in the past.


Social infrastructure: From challenge to opportunity for investors

The significance of infrastructure in driving the economic and social outcomes of societies cannot be overstated, underpinning the welfare and development of local communities and being a key factor in improving quality of life over the long term. Traditionally, infrastructure is linked to projects producing economic or monetary value, such as mobility, utilities, communication and energy.


A conversation with Alex Symes on the U.S. infrastructure bill

The infrastructure bill in Congress opens the door for new equity investments — what is the potential for institutional investors? Investors are increasingly interested in infrastructure as an asset class. It can provide attractive total returns, income, diversification and inflation protection. However, investor demand growth is being constrained by supply of deals.


The impact of the coronavirus on toll roads

As COVID-19 vaccinations rise and mobility and travel restrictions are lifted, traffic volumes are, in some cases, rebounding sharply. However, because the disease has not been completely contained and more virulent strains are emerging, uncertainty remains as to when traffic volumes will achieve pre-pandemic levels.


A conversation with Arash Shojaie on hydrogen

This year, many countries have launched projects to accelerate hydrogen as a medium for energy storage and transport. What are some of the highlights of these efforts? Governments are recognizing the important role hydrogen can play in national emission reduction strategies. They also seek to capture the economic benefits of large-scale hydrogen production and utilization, focusing initially on the most financially viable options for their particular regions.


Investing in real assets: Infrastructure

Not long ago, it would have been the rare investor who looked at bridges, roads, airports, cell towers, and other large bulky edifices and thought, “That looks like something I should add to my retirement portfolio.” But after months of hearing about the proposed $2 trillion (now $1 trillion) of infrastructure investment being bandied about in Congress, and reading almost daily of bridges and roads needing repairs to prevent collapse — a 2021 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that more than 20,000 concrete bridges across the United States are structurally deficient and nearly half the nation’s public roadways are in “poor” or “mediocre” condition — investors are beginning to realize that infrastructure assets might present a very attractive opportunity.


Global listed infrastructure: Essential news and notes

The GLIO Index of infrastructure companies fell back in September, (–5.4 percent) during the month. Year-to-date, the GLIO Index remains up 4.5 percent. Passenger rail (5 percent), airports (3.5 percent), marine ports (4.5 percent), energy transportation and storage (3.8 percent), and satellites (11.4 percent) all ended the month on positive ground. On the flip side, the electric (–7.6 percent), gas (–5.7 percent) and water (–7.4 percent) utilities finished the month well down. Railroads (–6.5 percent) and toll roads (–1.7 percent) also reversed.


Infrastructure 101: A guide to white papers, articles reports focused on the basics of infrastructure and infrastructure investing

The private equity asset class has grown rapidly since 2008, attracting institutional investors in need of higher returns than those expected from public markets. But while most investors would say they have been rewarded with good performance, this success is hard to objectively demonstrate due to intransitive metrics and unmeasured risks. It is our belief that there is a pressing need to substantiate the economic case for private equity. In this article, we describe a new transparency framework, which we situate in our research agenda on ‘organic finance’.

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