The International Financing Review, a Thomson Reuters publication, brought together a panel of experts from the public and private sectors for a debate on ways to connect Asian infrastructure with the institutional capital markets.
An engaged audience heard a frank assessment of the progress made in recent months. While bond issues in both US dollars and local currencies have raised hopes of mobilising more institutional capital, most infrastructure developers still rely on local banks. Asian institutional investors looking for long-term, income-generating assets often need to look outside their home region.
ADB is doing its part, with a bigger debt issuance programme and greater emphasis on local currency funding. Notably, ADB treasurer Pierre van Peteghem revealed that the bank had received approval for a debut in Mongolia’s tugrik, the latest move to open up a new local market and finance more of the bank’s operations in local currency.
The panel also stressed the opportunity for more Asian infrastructure owners to obtain international investment-grade ratings, following a landmark long-term US dollar offering for Indonesia’s Paiton Energy last year. First-hand accounts of infrastructure financings that have appealed to Japanese institutional investors also offered insights into an alternative source of funding for Asia.
It was not all positive, however. Panelists outlined the need to deepen Asia’s local markets and the challenges in introducing consistent regulations and standardised documentation across the region. They also voiced concerns over the Philippines’ departure from the public-private- partnership model, and the checks and balances it brings to major infrastructure projects.
In line with the ADB’s increased focus on sustainability and innovation, the seminar also provided a timely update on the role of Green finance and novel risk-sharing agreements with private insurers and major asset managers.
Olivier Delfour is the head of the global infrastructure and project finance group at Fitch Ratings. The group is responsible, on a global basis, for ratings financings in the infrastructure and project finance sectors, and has representation in the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Until the creation of this group in early 2007, Mr. Delfour had been responsible, within the European structured finance group, for ABS ratings as well as supervision of the structured finance teams in Paris, Milan, Frankfurt, and Madrid. Before joining Fitch in 1997, he was involved in commercial real estate lending and was responsible for securitisation transactions at UIC-SOFAL, a French real estate specialized lender.
Kiyoshi Nishimura is the first chief executive officer of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF). Mr. Nishimura has extensive experience in development banking. Along with his work at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as acting director of its Financial Institutions Business Group, Mr. Nishimura has also held senior positions at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Export-Import Bank of Japan, and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Nishimura attended the University of British Columbia for his MA in economics and Keio Gijuku University for his BA in economics.
Siong Ooi is responsible for MUFG Bank’s debt capital markets activity across the Asia and Pacific region, covering loans and bonds in 18 countries across South and Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania. Mr. Ooi joined MUFG Bank in 2016 after more than 20 years in debt financing in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia, most recently in charge of syndicated and leveraged finance for the region at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He joined BAML in 2011 from ANZ, where he held a number of senior positions in loan syndications and bond syndicate.
Rocky Alejandro L. Reyes is head of the special projects department at Philippines law firm SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, where he specialises in taxation, project finance, construction, leveraged leases and infrastructure projects. Mr. Reyes has acted on various private power and other infrastructure projects in the Philippines and other Asian countries, and advised on the drafting of the Philippines’ Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law and legislation to create the Private Sector Infrastructure Development Fund. He is a professorial lecturer at the University of the Philippines’ College of Law and a regularly published author. From 1988 to 1990, he served as a foreign attorney at Anderson Mori & Rabinowitz in Tokyo.
Pierre Van Peteghem
Pierre Van Peteghem is the treasurer of ADB. He took over the position in February 2015. As the treasurer, Mr. Van Peteghem is responsible for ensuring that ADB maintains the financial capacity to respond to the needs of its developing member countries. He is in charge of planning and managing ADB’s financial resources and conducting financial transactions arising from loan operations. He oversees the funding, investments, financial policy and planning, treasury client solutions, and treasury services divisions of ADB.
Steve Garton is responsible for the Asian editorial content of the International Financing Review (IFR), a Thomson Reuters publication covering major debt issues, equity offerings, and investment banking. He manages a team of journalists and analysts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, and Sydney, producing real-time news and weekly analysis across the region. Mr. Garton joined Thomson Reuters in June 2010 after eight years at UK publishing house Euromoney. He has been a regular participant at the ADB Annual Meetings since moving to Asia in 2005.