2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards
Despite a sharp decline in deal flow over the past year, infrastructure sponsors landed several firsts and found creative ways to finance much-needed investments. By Mick Bowen.
Markets move up and down, and the project finance market in Latin America, reeling from the fallout of the Lava Jato investigation, certainly suffered a downturn over the past year. Major projects, such as the Gasoducto Sur Peruano (GSP) natural gas pipeline concession in Peru and the Río Magdalena waterway public-private partnership (PPP) in Colombia, were scrapped as Odebrecht was forced out of markets in the region.
The problems did only not contain themselves to projects where the Brazilian builder was involved. They spread across the infrastructure finance market, as lenders and investors shied away from financing projects that could carry the taint of corruption, however far removed from the bribery scandal.
And yet, despite the tribulations, borrowers and lenders secured billions of dollars in financing for landmark projects across Latin America. Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México (GACM) attracted investors from around the globe to the largest project bond seen in the region, a $2-billion offering that paves the way for an expected $4 billion in additonal cross-border deals. Celeo Redes became the first issuer in Chile to sell project bonds in the international and local markets at the same time. The company’s $600-million deal could now become a model for other transactions in the region. Altán Redes recruited various funding sources, including the communications companies Huawei and Nokia, to raise some $1.6 billion in financing for the Red Compartida wireless telecommunications PPP in Mexico.
Foreign investors showed sustained confidence in Latin America’s infrastructure sector, despite the Odebrecht scandal. Spain’s Elecnor owns most of Celeo. Morgan Stanley owns a good chunk of Altán. France’s Vinci wrapped up the acquisition of the airport operator Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI, known as Aerodom, in early 2016 and sold $317 million in 12-year bonds to refinance debt in January 2017. The 6.75% notes carried the lowest yield for a corporate issuer from the Dominican Republic. Spain’s Globalvia, the owner behind the Autopistas del Sol toll road concessionaire, refinanced project finance debt in the cross-border bond market, taking advantage of solid investor demand to issue a 13-year, $300-million instrument.
Foreign banks, particularly SMBC, reinforced their commitment to the project finance market in Latin America. The Japanese lender had a hand in financing transmission lines and renewable energy projects in Chile and natural gas pipeline concessions in Mexico. SMBC also reaffirmed its pledge to infrastructure development in Colombia, where it has led the financing for 4G toll road concessions, raised money for an infrastructure debt fund alongside Brazil’s BTG Pactual and acquired an equity stake in the national development bank Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN).
The editorial staff at LatinFinance selected the winners of the 2017 Project and Infrastructure Awards after examining information provided by market participants. LatinFinance evaluated deals that closed between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. LF
Award Categories (click on category to see winner)
BEST LOCAL CURRENCY FINANCING
BEST AIRPORT FINANCING
BEST TRANSPORT FINANCING
BEST PORT FINANCING
BEST ROAD FINANCING
BEST RENEWABLE FINANCING
BEST POWER FINANCING
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING: ANDES
BEST OIL & GAS FINANCING
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING: MEXICO
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING: CARRIBEAN
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING: CENTRAL AMERICA
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING: BRAZIL
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE LAW FIRM: ANDES
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE LAW FIRM: MEXICO
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE LAW FIRM: BRAZIL
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE LAW FIRM: LATIN AMERICA
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE BANK: ANDES
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE BANK: BRAZIL
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE BANK: MEXICO
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE BANK: LATIN AMERICA
LatinFinance’s 2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards recognize the most impressive transactions and institutions in a field critical to the region's economic progress.
Provisional categories for LatinFinance's 2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards are:
- Best Local Currency Financing
- Best Airport Financing
- Best Port Financing
- Best Road Financing
- Best Transport Financing
- Best Renewable Energy Financing
- Best Power Financing
- Best Mining Financing
- Best Oil & Gas Financing
- Best Loan
- Best Bond
- Best Infrastructure Financing: Caribbean
- Best Infrastructure Financing: Central America
- Best Infrastructure Financing: Andes
- Best Infrastructure Financing: Brazil
- Best Infrastructure Financing: Mexico
- Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Andes
- Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Mexico
- Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Brazil
- Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Latin America
- Best Infrastructure Bank: Andes
- Best Infrastructure Bank: Brazil
- Best Infrastructure Bank: Mexico
- Best Infrastructure Bank
- Best Project Sponsor
The following lists highlight the main criteria to be used in judging LatinFinance’s 2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards.
For all categories, we consider transactions that have closed between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.
Categories 1 to 16 will be judged on:
- Market significance, strategic importance, and groundbreaking qualities
- Structural aspects of the transaction, including complexity, innovation and size
- Execution, including price and demand achieved compared to other references in the market and with regard to conditions at the time
- Secondary market performance, and reception by peers and investors
- Geographical reach, where relevant
Categories 17 to 25 will be judged on:
- Overall strategy, volume and diversity of transactions
- Innovation and foresight
- Execution quality and success of transactions worked on
- Role in particularly complex, innovative, or large deals over the year
- Quantity of transactions worked on over the year, and compared to previous years
LatinFinance's 2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards are decided by LatinFinance's editors, following an extensive research process. The key elements of each step of the process are outlined below.
Banks, law firms, and companies working in infrastructure finance may nominate one transaction in each category for consideration. Nominations are due by June 7, 2017, and must use the official nomination form.
LatinFinance will discuss the relative merits of shortlisted transactions and institutions with a wide range of market participants. Institutions that submit nominations may at the same time request a call or meeting with LatinFinance's judging panel to discuss their submission.
Examination of financial data
LatinFinance will research transaction data and other publicly available information for each of the nominated transactions and institutions. As is relevant in each category, such data will include, but will not be limited to: presentations on the projects being financed, stock exchange filings, transaction pricing details, secondary market trading data.
LatinFinance's editorial team retains discretion over the final allocation of awards in each category. The final decision will be based on nominations, market consultation, research of financial data, and feedback on transactions over the course of the past 12 months.
Winners will be informed by end-July 2017 with the news embargoed until publication of the September edition of LatinFinance. Awards will be presented at LatinFinance’s Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards Dinner in September 2017.
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