Australian ports lose investment appeal

An Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) survey said Australian ports have become less appealing to investors over the last three years.

IPA is an independent think-tank dedicated to in-depth research and policy analysis, which acts as the intelligence unit for Australia’s infrastructure market.

In its 2017 Australian Infrastructure Investment Report it says only 42% of survey participants now see port and marine assets as a preferred investment type. Other sectors such as roads, social infrastructure, passenger rail and bridges ranked higher.

The survey, conducted in partnership with Perpetual, shows port investment dropping as a preferred investment type from 50% a year ago and 59% from the 2015 survey.

However, ports are not alone in this. “Apart from energy generation and telecommunications, interest in all asset types surveyed has dropped, with the largest decreases in bridges and passenger rail … as well as a 13 percentage point decrease in interest for energy transmission and distribution,” the report finds.

The findings reflect a warier investment market, with taxation and political interventions of concern to investors.

Overall, the report concludes that investors remain focused on Australian infrastructure, but that “… a reducing pipeline of investable projects and increasing competition, coupled with accelerating political and sovereign-type risks, mean the country is rapidly eroding its competitive advantages in infrastructure”.

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