Investors may find opportunities in the global infrastructure industry and sector-related exchange traded funds as overseas countries develop their internal framework to accommodate expanding economies and the U.S. begins to address aging roads in disrepair.
S&P Capital IQ Equity Analyst Jim Corridore believes that infrastructure companies could see increased demand over the next several years on greater need for upgrade and expansion of infrastructure from the U.S. and around the world, according to a recent S&P Capital IQ research note.
In the U.S., Corridore argues that the aging and outdated roads, electric transmission grids and energy transmission facilities are in need of upgrades while pipelines, water treatment and rail will require expansions to accommodate growing demand. America’s civil engineers recently graded the nation’s major infrastructure category, noting a poor cumulative GPA for infrastructure of D+, with rail and bridges earning a C+. Almost one-third of U.S. states, though, are already taking matters into their own hands, raising local taxes to support improvements in roads and bridges.
Looking overseas, countries are already allocating money toward infrastructure projects. For instance, Japan has invested $100 billion for roads, bridges, railways and other building projects in Asia. China has already stated it will put billions into a so-called Silk Road infrastructure project to connect Asian economies.
Infrastructure investments also provide stability and offer some attractive yields.
“Though timing of contract awards are uncertain, S&P Capital IQ believes these projects tend to have long-term contracts that provide steady cash flows and predictable revenue streams,” according to Todd Rosenbluth, Director of ETF & Mutual Research at S&P Capital IQ. “Meanwhile, a recent report from S&P Dow Jones Indices, which operates independently from S&P Capital IQ, cited benefits from global infrastructure investments, including a relatively steady cash flow with a strong yield component; high barriers to entry; and inflation protection.”