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Infrastructure funds show their staying power

The potential for huge profits may no longer be there but good opportunities can still be found. Louise Bowman reports.

The role of government: spend, spend, spend

The contrast between debt appetite and equity appetite in the infrastructure market could hardly be starker. Infrastructure funds were a feature of the boom years but appetite for them seems only to have grown since the markets turned: of the 10 largest unlisted infrastructure funds of all time, eight have been raised since May 2007. There are two main approaches for infrastructure funds: those that focus on deals where the government is paying an availability charge (lower-risk deals as there is no demand risk); and those that also look at user-charge assets such as airports and water companies. Funds also divide into those prepared to undertake greenfield projects and those that focus solely on secondary-market deals. Clearly, availability-based secondary-market deals represent the lower end of the risk spectrum for infrastructure and greenfield deals, while construction and demand risk are at the upper end.

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