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18 Oct 2013

EIC holds successful workshop on PPP/Project Finance

EIC held a successful workshop on Global Trends in PPP and Project Finance Markets at its General Assembly in Seville on 18 October.

A distinguished panel with representatives of multinational Spanish banking group BBVA, global rating agency Fitch Ratings, international law firm Pinsent Masons, international investment fund Meridiam, Spanish construction organization SEOPAN and auditing giant EY (formerly Ernst & Young) discussed market opportunities and hindrances.

While infrastructure investments of $57 trillion are needed by 2030, according to a McKinsey study, the financing of such projects has become increasingly difficult since the global financial crisis started in 2008, the workshop participants noted. 

With additional capital and liquidity requirements imposed on banks, project bonds and institutional financing are the alternatives left, BBVA's Miguel Peña Azpilicueta and Pablo González Taberna explained. While project bonds have been slow to emerge, Dan Robertson of Fitch Ratings noted, multiple innovative debt options are now available.

In order to achieve a successful closing, Meridiam's Julia Prescot pointed towards a number of key factors: effective procurement processes, balanced contracts and a willingness to realise the project from the public sector side. Jonathan Hart of Pinsent Masons also outlined the importance of well structured security packages.

SEOPAN President Julián Nuñez took the perspective of Spanish contractors and outlined their lessons learned on the global PPP finance market in the past years.

All speakers engaged in a lively discussion with the conference participants moderated by EY's Javier Garcia Seijas.