Commentary: Project finance steps out of the turmoil and into the limelight
This column observed last year that the time may be coming when project finance moved centre stage after several years of being overshadowed by more lucrative 'glamour' practices like leveraged and structured finance.And so it has turned out, though not for the reasons most pundits were forecasting at the start of 2007; 12 months of credit turmoil combined with soaring commodity prices has conspired to make projects and energy finance one of the most attractive practice areas for major City firms. Infrastructure Journal's (IJ's) new half-year statistics underline the extent to which projects activity has held up in the face of tight lending markets. Global volumes in infrastructure financing actually rose by 7.8% on the basis of projects that made it to financial close in the first half of 2008 - 333 deals in total. Combined finance value rose slightly from the $143.9bn (£72bn) in the first six months of 2007 - when credit markets were still booming - to total $155.2bn (£78bn).
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