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Alternative Market Briefing

Emerging markets infrastructure debt opportunities grow as economies reopen

Monday, August 02, 2021

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

For credit investors, yield has been hard to come by in recent years. Pandemic stimulus put downward pressure on many parts of the credit universe forcing investors to take on greater risk in order to get the returns they need. One area that has shown surprising resilience however is in emerging markets infrastructure debt.

Infrastructure is typically a lower risk, more consistent investment - even in emerging markets - and has seen a resurgence of investor interest in recent years. Infrastructure debt can include project finance, as well as financing for assets or companies that provide essential services. It can also include investments secured by infrastructure related assets, such as aircraft, rolling stock, and telecom towers.

Infrastructure projects have continued throughout the pandemic and in some cases expanded in response to the pandemic - a boon for investors in this asset class. Fund managers are also taking advantage. Emerging manager Susan Wisialko who leads Global Infrastructure Finance and manages the Global Infrastructure Fund says that there are a number of interesting trends emerging in the second half of the year.

"We've seen somewhat surprising issuance with good duration out of Russia recently," Wisialko says. "There were bonds for an oil and gas barge company within Russia that transport within the Arctic Circle - so somewhat specialist vessels. It's a diversifier in the sense that it's not......................

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