As the UK takes stock of its recent decision to leave the EU, Michael Wilkins, Managing Director of Infrastructure Finance Ratings at S&P Global Ratings (S&P), joined the panel debate at a recent International Project Finance Association (IPFA) event to discuss the implications of Brexit on the UK’s infrastructure sector. The key takeaways, which included the belief that the potential loss of EU funding could put major infrastructure projects at risk, are covered in the front page feature of the July/August edition of IFR Outlook – S&P’s monthly newsletter summarising key infrastructure and project finance-related research and rating update news.
Brexit was also a running theme at S&P’s recent annual infrastructure finance seminars, held in London, Frankfurt and Paris – also covered in this month’s issue. Specifically, the article explains that the main concerns for investors following the vote are; a lack of visibility; questions over availability of funding; currency volatility; the cost of capital and macroeconomic turbulence.
And such concerns are not unfounded. In fact, S&P has recently adjusted its ratings for five U.K project finance transactions to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’ following similar revisions on counterparty banks.
Across the pond in New York, at a separate event held by the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), key figures came together to evaluate the project risks associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy, such as changes to climate change policy and regulation.
In other news, S&P has assigned Spanish solar project Vela Energy its ‘BBB’ rating, while continued weak performance sees German rail operator Deutsche Bahn lowered To ‘AA-’ from ‘AA’.