Europe is still the world’s largest infrastructure market with over USD 221bn of deals in 2019. But after years of tightening dealflow, it has finally been outstripped by North America on greenfield and brownfield figures. In Asia and Latin America, political forces are driving the market in different ways
The story of the world’s infrastructure markets in 2019 was a steady 8% growth in deal activity with 2,214 deals done in the asset class over the course of the year. But other global figures hint at more significant changes with the total level of capital committed to those deals almost flat, at USD 657.53bn from USD 650.90bn in 2018. The infrastructure loan market also continued its decline, down almost 5% with capital markets financing roaring ahead 35.7%.
Looking at what this meant on a regional comparison, there is much the same story with Europe remaining the largest market with a total of USD 221.81bn invested across the continent’s 70 infrastructure deals. But look closer and it is clear just how much Europe’s dominance has faded.
In 2018 the continent attracted USD 268.35bn of investment in its infrastructure: so while 12 more deals got over the line, investment in European infrastructure actually fell, and by nearly 19%. In fact, the only thing which has kept Europe ahead of a rising North American infra market, which attracted USD 199.3bn of investment in 2019, was the international dash to take advantage of low interest rates with a slew of refinancings – which rose by well over a third for European infra.