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Infrastructure as a Financial Asset Class

Panayiotou, Athina; (2017) Infrastructure as a Financial Asset Class. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

One of the greatest challenges of 21st century is how to address the infrastructure needs which are fast arising around the world. More and better quality infrastructure is demanded in new economies such as China and India, while in mature economies such as Europe and the United States, ageing infrastructure calls for immediate repair and replacement. Even though governments understand the importance of infrastructure as a catalyst of growth, they can no longer sustain these investments alone. As a result, we can clearly observe the presence of a continuous infrastructure investment gap. In response, governments worldwide are turning to private investors in order to sustainably bridge this widening gap. However, private investors remain cautious in relation to this young asset class, as there is still limited information about the financial performance of infrastructure. The goal of this thesis is to study, for the first time in detail, infrastructure as a new financial asset. This analysis is among the few to examine the investment characteristics of different infrastructure sectors and sub-sectors, and is the first to study the significance of this differentiation at the portfolio level. Using different optimisation techniques, this thesis seeks to evaluate whether private investors should focus on a single infrastructure sector, or instead are better of investing in a portfolio containing multiple infrastructure sectors. Lastly, the study aims to prove evidentially the best way to access infrastructure by comparing the listed and the much opaque unlisted infrastructure space. The results of this thesis show that infrastructure consists of different heterogeneous infrastructure sectors thus, by focusing on a single listed infrastructure sector, fund managers will be able to gain complete knowledge of the performance of the sector and still enjoy diversification benefits. Moreover, results indicate that, despite the attractive performance of unlisted infrastructure, public policy is a key lever in attracting private investments into infrastructure.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Infrastructure as a Financial Asset Class
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571849
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