Politics affecting projects; the focus of S&P’s July Infrastructure Outlook

In the July edition of Standard & Poor’s monthly infrastructure newsletter Michael Wilkins, Managing Director of Infrastructure Finance, explains that global infrastructure firms, and the projects in which they are involved, face significant exposure to political risk. With the help of notable examples and case studies, Wilkins explores the key drivers of such risk with regards to infrastructure and project financings, analysing their impact on creditworthiness. In a second prominent feature, credit analysts Alexander Griaznov and Sergei Gorin provide a case in point, explaining how few Russian utility and power companies have managed to issue debt as a result of political unrest since the start of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, a situation exacerbated by the former’s weak economy and high ruble volatility.

Similarly in Europe we see politics affecting power companies. For instance, ratings on Greek corporations Ellaktor S.A. and Public Power Corp. were lowered due to the same action on Greece. On the flip side, two Ireland-based multi-utilities were raised on the sovereign upgrade.

In other news, Spanish Motorway Project Sociedad Concesionaria Autovia de la Plata has been assigned a ‘BBB’ rating and German utility giant E.ON SE’s long-term rating was lowered to ‘BBB+’ as a result of weaker credit metrics.

To view these articles and other key rating movements, please see the full version of S&P’s July infrastructure newsletter in pdf or e-book format.

In today’s City AM, Patrick Artus argues why Greece could pull Europe back into recession

PatrickArtusIn this morning’s newspaper, Patrick Artus writes for City AM on Europe’s week of unprecedented events. Bank closures, capital controls, the first IMF default by a developed country, the collapse of a multi-billion-euro bail-out, and, of course, a referendum that may end with a member exiting the single currency has meant that Mr Draghi’s 2012 rhetoric to do “whatever it takes” holds little value in today’s crisis. Artus argues that if Sunday’s referendum fails to find a settlement that suits both the ECB and Greece, then the subsequent decline in the financial markets will not only impact the recovery Europe has made so far, but may also pull the region back in to recession.

To read the whole article, please click here

Natixis hires new Chief Economist of Asia Pacific

Alicia Garcia HerreroAlicia García Herrero, who has worked at the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank in the past, has now joined French bank Natixis as chief economist for Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, Herrero will lead the firm’s economic research for the region, and will work in tandem with Natixis’s global research teams. She will be reporting to Paris-based Christophe Ricetti, head of global markets research, and locally to the Apac head of global markets, Serge Ekué.

The news was covered by Global Capital, Asia Asset Management, Bloomberg, Carraway Group, Fund Selector Asia and Asian Investor

S&P’s first ever Euro PP league table topped by Morgan Stanley and Société Générale

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has published its first ever annual league table for private placement deals in Europe as part of its drive to encourage more transparency for alternative private lending markets in the region. Created in collaboration with Private Placement Monitor, the table reveals that Morgan Stanley is No. 1 by volume, while Société Générale leads by number of transactions.

In addition, it shows that almost €7 billion was raised in private capital in the last year, through 87 deals. And although French private placements continue to dominate at 53% of deal flow, the market is truly becoming more pan-European, with the remaining 47% now coming from other European countries.

The full report, which includes the table and supporting charts, can be viewed here.

As a result of Moorgate outreach, Financial News (£) and Global Capital (£) conducted interviews while Private Equity Wire and Private Debt Investor (£) covered the announcement.

CMSpi in Treasury Insider: significant change could be on the cards for European merchants


ACombes_jpgVisa Inc. is reported to be in talks to buy its counterpart, Visa Europe – a move that could create a potential setback for merchants in the fight against fees. In Treasury Insider, Alistair Combes, Director of Knowledge, CMS Payments Intelligence (CMSpi) explains how profit-driven Visa Inc. could use the new interchange regulation as a platform to introduce new fees, and how merchants must remain alert to new developments to ensure they are not paying over-the-odds.

To read the full article, please click here

Financial Director report on S&P hosted roundtable; Alternative financiers call for greater transparency from mid-market companies

A recent panel – hosted at Standard & Poor’s ‘Annual European Leveraged Finance & High-Yield Conference’ – brought together key industry figures from S&P, HSBC, Aviva Investors France and Alcentra to tackle the question on everyone’s lips: with more midsized firms seeking to diversify their funding sources as their refinancing needs develop – potentially seeking out institutional investors and direct lenders as they move away from traditional bank loans – will they address investors’ need for greater transparency?

Financial Director reported on the event here.

iGTB picks up the pace in FTSE Global Markets

Jan Gonnissen, iGTBThe payments game is changing, with new technology, evolving business needs and heightening customer expectations calling for faster and more efficient payment systems. As ‘real-time’ payment schemes become a feature of the landscape, Jan Gonnissen – SVP Payments, iGTB – takes a closer look at the developments taking place, and explains what ‘faster payments’ entail behind the scenes.

To read the full article in FTSE Global Markets please click here.


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