The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Infrastructural imperatives

With economic growth still running apace Asian economies are hard-pressed to maintain and develop infrastructure. Project finance deals, in an increasingly private-sector context, are hotly contested by banks, but countries in the region vary widely in their ability to undertake them. Gill Baker reports.

The heat is on in Thailand for contractor Hopewell ­ dubbed Hopeless by some Bangkok cynics ­ as it struggles to complete an ambitious 60km road and rail system amid continued concern about the Hong Kong-based company's financial health. The job has to be finished by 1998 when Thailand hosts the Asian Games. Five years after the concession was granted, however, the $3.2 billion project is just 20% complete. Running the company is Gordon Wu, who is struggling to juggle government and commercial pressures and to raise money to fund the project.

The Hopewell saga is perhaps an extreme example of Asia's infrastructure problems but it is by no means an isolated case. The region as a whole is fighting to keep its infrastructure up to speed with economic growth. Although some countries ­ notably Hong Kong and the Philippines ­ seem to have got the hang of project financing, there are plenty of latecomers scrambling up a steep learning curve. The question is whether financing problems and political wrangling will drive their utopian visions off the rails.

The World Bank estimates that between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion will need to be invested in infrastructure during the next decade in the developing east Asian countries alone.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree