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 BOND

BEST POWER FINANCING

BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING: ANDES

BEST OIL & GAS FINANCING

BEST LOAN

BEST SPONSOR

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

 

Overview

LatinFinance’s 2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards recognize the most impressive transactions and institutions in a field critical to the region's economic progress.

Categories

Provisional categories for LatinFinance's 2017 Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards are:

  1. Best Local Currency Financing
  2. Best Airport Financing
  3. Best Port Financing
  4. Best Road Financing
  5. Best Transport Financing
  6. Best Renewable Energy Financing
  7. Best Power Financing
  8. Best Mining Financing
  9. Best Oil & Gas Financing
  10. Best Loan
  11. Best Bond
  12. Best Infrastructure Financing: Caribbean
  13. Best Infrastructure Financing: Central America
  14. Best Infrastructure Financing: Andes
  15. Best Infrastructure Financing: Brazil
  16. Best Infrastructure Financing: Mexico
  17. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Andes
  18. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Mexico
  19. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Brazil
  20. Best Infrastructure Law Firm: Latin America
  21. Best Infrastructure Bank: Andes
  22. Best Infrastructure Bank: Brazil
  23. Best Infrastructure Bank: Mexico
  24. Best Infrastructure Bank
  25. Best Project Sponsor

Criteria

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.

Deals

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

Institutions

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

Selection Process

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.

Nominations

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.

Market consultation

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.

Editorial evaluation

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.

Announcements

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.

Contact

Still have a question? Drop us an email at awards@latinfinance.com with "Project & Infrastructure Finance Awards" in the subject line.

Previous winners: 2016, 2015