Infrastructure Finance: Hope eternal

Jan 1, 2013

Latin governments are scrambling to plug the region’s infrastructure gap as years of under-investment come back to bite

By John Rumsey

Many were predicting a tough year for Latin infrastructure markets at the start of 2012. But in a year marked by swings in global capital markets, retrenchment of investment banks, and corporate cash hoarding, the region's industry fared relatively well, especially from a demand standpoint.

Governments are keen to improve infrastructure and have helped shepherd deals to market. Perhaps, more surprisingly, private oil and gas and mining deals continue to provide a solid base. Financing has, however, proven tortuous (see Into the Void, page 68).

Bankers, rating agencies and investors see last year as a solid if not a vintage year and are cautiously optimistic for this year. Project finance deal volumes and numbers grew around 20% last year and are likely to increase by similar amounts this year, says Mexico City-based Javier Martín Robles, managing director at Banco Santander, one of the most active banks...

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