Project ECA Structured Finance Middle East Africa Conference
Partners Renad Younes and Dan Feldman (both Abu Dhabi- Project Development & Finance) spoke on two panel sessions at the Project, ECA & Structured Finance Middle East & Africa Conference in Dubai on November 5-6, 2019. They discussed project financing’s role in promoting infrastructure and industrial projects in Africa and the trend for how increased outbound investment by the region’s major oil companies is gaining momentum in 2019 and 2020.
Key takeaways from their panel discussions includes:
- A number of the world’s leading development banks as well as commercial lenders stand ready to invest in strong projects in Africa.
- A well-structured project led by strong sponsors can attract limited recourse debt, opening up attractive sources of liquidity and rates of return.
- The main constraint perceived by potential lenders is a shortage of strong project opportunities. Africa’s so-called “infrastructure gap” can be partly addressed by sponsors conceiving of and structuring of projects to attract the extensive finance sources looking to invest.
- The accelerating trend of downstream oil and gas investment (refineries and petrochemical projects) both inbound to the region and outbound from it, led by GCC national oil companies, represents an exciting new era for the region’s investors, lenders and advisers.
- Going forward we expect to see the trend continue, and competition increase to participate in the most attractive projects in and surrounding Asia, as well as further investment by the GCC’s oil companies in the US.