基础设施投资:为何正当时?

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简介

In infrastructure, the convergence of trends will continue to present investment opportunities in high-quality assets。Some of these trends have been on investors' radar for years, while others are more recent。

The latest trends include massive data investment opportunities, global decarbonization, and the "falling out of favor" of the petrochemical midstream industry due to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues。These are at work in long-term trends, such as aging utilities that need a lot of capital to upgrade, and the inflated debt that governments face。

Broadleaf focuses on infrastructure assets that provide backbone support services for important economic and social activities。These mainly include power transmission and distribution, water distribution, midstream systems, ports, railways and roads, and communications and data networks。

By their nature, these assets typically provide investors with stable and safe cash flows, downside protection, diversified investment options, inflation protection and long-term liability matching。By focusing on core operational assets, the infrastructure strategy should be resilient in all economic environments。While we believe infrastructure is attractive to investors in a variety of market conditions, the current environment seems particularly opportunistic。

70%  的输配电系统已进入生命周期后半期

公用事业设备逐渐老化,资金缺口日益增大

We continue to look at how traditional asset operators in the utility sector can find alternative sources of funding。They want to meet decarbonisation targets by replacing ageing operating assets, so the demand for capital is huge。

美国电网的现状凸显了基础设施资产普遍老化的问题。According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 2021 年基础设施报告卡 (2021 Infrastructure Report Card), 70% of the TRANSMISSION and distribution systems in the US have entered the second half of their life cycle。1As a result, there have been several power outages across the country recently, affecting a large number of customers nationwide (see Figure 1)。Currently, many utility operators in the United States are still under public ownership, operated by the federal, state or municipal government。

与此同时,全球范围内的发达经济体所背负的债务已达历史高位。This trend predated the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown。Demographic imbalances, including shrinking and ageing populations, the expansion of welfare programmes and a chronically low interest rate environment that stimulated borrowing have led to unprecedented government deficits in the US and many EU countries。(见图 2)。

图 1:美国受到多次停电事故的挑战

Figure 1 Electrical Outages
Source: 2017 Eaton Blackout Tracker。

图 2:政府的预算赤字不断增加

政府赤字(万亿美元)

Figure 2 Budget Deficits
资料来源:U.S. Department of the Treasury, Congressional Budget Office, International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2020。

疫情出现后,政府财政压力进一步加大,使得这一问题更加严峻。

In the infrastructure space, many traditional asset operators are facing significant funding gaps for system maintenance。The American Society of Civil Engineers, for example, estimates that the US will have a total cumulative funding gap of 2. 5% between 2020 and 2029.5 万亿美元(见图 3)。

政府主要可以通过三种方式来解决这一问题。其一,他们可以增加税收,但这种方法产生的额外收入相当有限;其二,他们可以转向私营部门来提供服务;其三,他们可以出售资产并用所得收益来帮助重建资产负债表。As private investors, we expect the latter two approaches to provide significant opportunities for investors who combine operational expertise with large, flexible capital。

Figure 3: BETWEEN 2020 and 2029, US infrastructure assets will need to exceed 2.5 万亿美元投资

(十亿美元)

Figure 3 Infra Assets
Source: 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, American Society of Civil Engineers。

The US is projected to have a total cumulative funding gap of 2. 5% between 2020 and 2029.5 万亿美元

数据网络需要大规模升级

Demand for data is growing rapidly in both developed and developing markets -- faster than for any other commodity and showing no signs of stalling。

其中,大部分数据仍在通过老旧的网络进行全球传输。While the telecoms industry has successfully made its big shift from copper to fibre, the shift still needs to go down the "last mile" - to where the end user is, be it an office, a retail space or a home。The industry will need significant investment if it is to meet customers' increasing demand for capacity and speed。

In addition, as 5G rolls out globally, more mobile towers and data centers will need to be built。At the same time, telecoms companies are selling mature assets to professional infrastructure investors to raise money for expansion projects。这种方式一方面使得电信公司能够与经验丰富的第三方运营商长期合作,享受他们提供的服务;另一方面也为这些运营商也提供了稳定的长期现金流。

We estimate that global data infrastructure upgrading will require at least $1 trillion of investment over the next five years alone (see Figure 4)。这项任务可谓十分艰巨。

图 4:未来五年,5G 将为全球网络带来 1.1 万亿美元的投资空间

资本支出(2020 年 - 2025 年)

Figure 4 5G Capex
资料来源:GSMA。

全球脱碳

Efforts to mitigate climate change around the world are creating huge market opportunities for renewable energy。

There is now a global consensus that carbon emissions in all areas of modern life must be reduced。Governments around the world have made solemn commitments to achieve decarbonization targets, and the private sector is also scrambling to set carbon emission targets and actively join the decarbonization team。

The good news is that the cost of renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, has fallen sharply in recent years (see chart 5).。如今,即使没有政府支持,可再生能源投资也能实现收益。

In all, Goldman Sachs estimates that keeping global temperature rise below 2°C by 2030 will require investments of up to $16tn。2Given the scale of these decarbonization initiatives, we believe they will present significant opportunities for large investors with expertise in clean energy solutions。As the renewable energy industry matures and becomes more attractive to private capital, the prospects for acquiring cash-generating operational renewable assets are also promising。

图 5:风能和太阳能是目前最便宜的大规模发电来源

Figure 5 Wind and Solar
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance。

In total, investments of up to $16 trillion are needed to limit global temperature rise to 2°C by 2030

中游和运输部门的逆势投资机会

Market participants are expressing dissatisfaction with midstream energy assets as the global net zero emissions transition gains momentum and the required energy mix shifts are well under way。

However, the market will need to rely on midstream assets to effectively transform to renewable and sustainable platforms in the coming years。As a result, fossil fuels will remain an important part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future (see Figure 6)。他们将帮助支持风能和太阳能等低碳替代能源的发展。

图 6:天然气仍将在电力行业发挥重要作用

天然气仍将在电力行业发挥重要作用

Figure 6 Natural Gas
各技术来源的估计发电量(2025 年)

然而,各种化石燃料在碳排放方面的表现也不尽相同。Natural gas produces far less pollution and carbon emissions than coal and could be used to supplement the growing renewable energy system。Gasoline is easy to store and can respond quickly when wind power and photovoltaic power are scarce, effectively avoiding power shortages and blackouts。

天然气价格波动较大,很容易对市场投资热情造成影响。To hedge against this volatility, investors can focus on stable assets that are highly defensive and contracted, such as midstream pipelines or gas liquefaction and regasification facilities。Volatility can also create opportunities for private investors to enter the sector at favourable times。Although these assets have a limited life span, we believe they will play a key role in the transition to net zero emissions over the coming decades and provide attractive investment opportunities。天然气运输网络也可能有助于未来绿色氢和碳封存的出现。

与此同时,疫情给运输业带来了前所未有的不确定性。The number of people and goods moving through airports, ports and highways has fallen sharply because of worldwide travel restrictions。Investors cannot be sure when demand will return to pre-pandemic levels, so the decision to shun the asset class is understandable。With vaccination still in its early stages in many countries, the global outlook for the industry is far from clear。

However, as an owner and operator of ports and toll roads, Brookfield saw that these assets could perform well during disruptions, with the necessary contractual agreements in place。Given the negative sentiment surrounding the asset class, we believe there may be opportunities to acquire quality assets at attractive valuations。

展望未来

As much of the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economies reopen and expand, inflation is becoming a central focus。Therefore, infrastructure managers with a long-term investment horizon must attach great importance to this and ensure that cash flows have direct or indirect inflation protection。

If infrastructure managers are able to understand the risks involved and build mitigation measures, they can create an enabling environment in the current economic context that will support the continued strong performance of quality infrastructure assets while facilitating further investment opportunities。

尽管全球基础设施资产领域的竞争日益加剧,但如果管理者能够保持资本部署的纪律性,拥有必要的资源和规模,ESG 意识以及成熟的采购和运营能力,便能占据有利的市场地位,充分利用有利的基础设施投资机会,立足当下,赢在未来。

尾注:

1. American Society of Civil Engineers, "2021 Report Card for America's Infrastructure," 2021. 
2. Goldman Sachs Equity Research, "Carbonomics: The Green Engine of Economic Recovery," June 2020. 

披露

This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities or related financial instruments。This commentary discusses broad market, industry or sector trends, or other general economic or market conditions, and is provided on a confidential basis。This commentary is not intended to apply to Brookfield Asset Management Inc. )及其关联公司(统称“博枫”)赞助的任何产品的条款概述。This commentary contains information and opinions as of the date shown and is subject to change without notice。Some of the information presented herein has been prepared based on Blafen's internal research and some of the information is based on various assumptions made by Blafen, any of which may prove incorrect。Broadleaf may not verify (and disclaims any obligation to verify) the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in this comment, including information provided by third parties, and you cannot rely on Broadleaf to verify such information。此处提供的信息反映了博枫的观点和信念。Investors should consult their advisers before investing in any fund or scheme, including those sponsored by Broadleaf。