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U.S. Airport Debt Shielded from Muni Bankruptcy Risk

The district court ruling issued earlier this year in a bankruptcy case on Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority issued debt is unlikely to have credit implications for U.S. airport revenue bonds issued by public agencies and municipal governments.

Technology, Supply Differentiate Energy-from-Waste Projects

Specific technology and supply risks differentiate energy-from-waste (EfW) projects from other thermal power projects in their credit assessment, says Fitch Ratings in a new report. Furthermore, although typical EfW facilities benefit from multiple revenue streams, it is less likely that Fitch will assess their revenue risk factor as "Stronger".

Minimal Roadblocks for U.S. Toll Roads

U.S. toll road performance continues to coast along despite idiosyncratic weaknesses affecting two rated toll roads, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest U.S. Toll Roads Peer Review.

FAA Reauthorization Keeps Funding Status Quo for U.S. Airports

The newly passed FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 is not likely to lead to any great changes for U.S. airport finances. Signed into law by the President last week, the FAA Reauthorization was passed by strong bipartisan approval in both Houses of Congress. The FAA Reauthorization will provide some measure of stability for aviation funding and modernize aviation regulations and processes needed by many stakeholders. 

League Parity Outweighs Media Rights in US Versus EU Sports

US sports leagues create more uniform conditions for teams than European ones do. They do this through the absence of relegation, a more equal distribution of broadcast revenues, meaningful league support of teams, fair player acquisition rules and stringent salary caps. 

Primera Failure Has Little Impact on Rated EMEA Airports

Budget airline Primera Air's announcement this week that it is filing for bankruptcy will have little impact on rated EMEA airports, including Stansted airport and its parent company, Manchester Airport Group (MAG). This is due to the airline's small contribution to the overall passenger traffic at the airports and its minimal impact on their financial results. 

Eagle P3 Project Lawsuit Unlikely to Have Ratings Impact

Denver Transit Partners (DTP), the concessionaire on the Eagle P3 Project (the Project), recently filed a lawsuit against the grantor of the concession, Regional Transportation District (RTD), seeking monetary damages tied to on-going delays and an extension of the G Line revenue service deadline, but this is not likely to have a ratings effect, according to Fitch Ratings.

Some HOV Policies Curbing Viability of U.S. Managed Lanes

The increasing prevalence of HOV policies is exposing some managed lanes throughout the U.S. to greater risk from technologies that are facilitating more ride sharing, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Credit Hotspot: Brexit

Latest: Ports and Airports Would Be Exposed in 'No Deal' Brexit

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The Infrastructure Footrace: Why the Gulf Region is Moving at a World First Pace

Unlike the US and Europe, the Gulf is developing new key infrastructure assets at a robust pace. Why? The main reason is that it does not suffer from crumbling infrastructure, in part, because the Gulf region had little infrastructure to speak of 50 years ago.

EMEA Airports' Passenger Growth Could Be Nearing Peak

Rated airports' PAX volumes expanded by 6% in 2017 - the fourth consecutive year of annual growth of between 4% and 6% - suggesting we may be approaching the top of the cycle. We expect annual traffic growth in our peer group to slow to 3.7% in 2018, and to 2.5% by 2021.

Fitch Maintains Atlantia and Autostrade per l'Italia on RWN after Genoa Bridge Collapse

Fitch has updated the rating sensitivities as the financial consequences of the Genoa bridge collapse of further weigh on Atlantia's and ASPI's credit profiles at a time when the group is re-leveraging to acquire the 50%+ one share of Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. (Abertis; BBB+/RWN). 


Insights on DSSP Power Sumsel's First Time Ratings of 'B+'

Listen to the teleconference and our discussions on the credit profile and rating drivers for DSSP Power Sumsel. RelatedFitch Rates DSSP Power Sumsel's Notes First-Time 'B+(EXP)'; Outlook Stable


Toll Roads - 10 Years in Infrastructure

Senior Fitch analysts in a teleconference discussion on US Toll Roads.

This follows the publication of our recent report: Toll Roads – 10 Years in Infrastructure


Trade War Could Dampen Growth for U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Near Term

U.S. transportation is positioned for a solid second half of the year, according to Fitch Ratings in its mid-year outlook report, though potential auto tariffs remain a concern for the sector as international trade policies continue to fluctuate.

10 Years in Infrastructure

Toll Roads, Airports, Power & Renewables

The Fitch Ratings series 10 Years in Infrastructure features three new special reports (no subscription required):

•  Toll Roads - 10 Years in Infrastructure

•  Airports - 10 Years in Infrastructure

•  Power and Renewables - 10 Years in Infrastructure

No Ratings Impact from NBA's Increased Team Debt Limit

The National Basketball Association's (NBA) Board of Governors approval to increase the team allowed borrowing limit to $325 million from $250 million, a 30% increase, does not represent a material weakening of the NBA's financial profile.

Fitch U.S. Ports Peer Review

Trade Policy, Tariffs Could Mean More Rating Changes

The next 12 months could bring about more rating changes for some U.S. ports after an unusually active year of rating movement for the sector, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest U.S. Ports Peer Review.

Evolving Travel Behavior Critical for Toll Roads in Next Decade

Numerous advances in the way people travel will be integral in how much revenue toll roads throughout the world are able to produce over the next 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Some Russian Local Governments Might Lose on World Cup

Some Russian regions are not financially capable of maintaining their 2018 FIFA World Cup facilities in the long run and this could become a credit risk, Fitch Ratings says. However, infrastructure, especially roads and airports, constructed for the World Cup should improve economic growth potential and a rise in tourism will result in small revenue increases in the short term for local and regional governments.

Teleconference Replay

Trends in Global Power Sales Contracts

Fitch Ratings discussed its recently published research piece entitled, "Trends in Global Power Sales Contracts (Expanding Options in Risk Management).”

US Autos, Highway Trust Windfall Unlikely If CAFE Changes

A potential rollback of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards may provide some relief to the US auto industry and raise Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue. However, a financial windfall for the auto industry should not be expected, due to uncertainty around the California state-level waiver, long production lead times, and the effect fuel prices and overall economic conditions have on ongoing fuel usage.

Third Runway Creates Long-Term Uncertainty for Heathrow

There is uncertainty over whether the regulator will allow the airport to generate, through tariffs, additional cash flows to build up metrics consistent with the higher ratings on top of full recovery of costs associated with the project.

China's New Renewables Policy to Hit Solar Manufacturers

China's decision to replace the feed-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism with a bidding process for most new wind and solar power projects will lower tariffs and reduce the incentive for operators to increase capacity. The strongest impact will fall on producers of solar panel equipment, with solar capacity additions likely to decline sharply. 

Corporate Power Purchase Agreements May Introduce Risk to Energy Projects

"Fitch's analytical framework for project finance extends beyond traditional PPAs and can be applied to new structures that are becoming more commonplace like synthetic PPAs, fixed volume price swaps and proxy revenue swaps," said Director Chris Joassin. 

Fitch Rates LINXS APM Project

Fitch Ratings hosted a call with investors to discuss its recent ‘BBB+ (EXP)’ of the California Municipal Finance Authority's approximately $1.2 billion senior lien revenue bonds. The proceeds of which will be used by the borrower (LAX Integrated Express Solutions, LLC (LINXS)) to construct an automated people mover at Los Angeles International Airport.

Energy Storage Solutions to Advance Renewable Generation

We do not expect the building requirement to have a material effect on public power issuer ratings. The requirements are consistent with the ongoing trend toward greater energy efficiency and reduced per capita electricity consumption in the state. Public power utilities have been planning for, and adapting their long-term supply strategies to, responding to this trend.

US Gas Price Rise Will Not Lower Toll Revenue

The recent increase in gas prices is unlikely to have a negative impact on US highway toll revenue. We expect moderate traffic growth in 2018, based on sustained economic and population growth, and moderate increases in gas prices. However, if gas prices do rise significantly, and over a sustained period of time, toll roads we rate could be affected.

Smaller Airports More Affected by Airline Failure

Secondary hubs and airports in small markets are more affected by an airline failure than their major counterparts. This is just one of the disparate effects airline failures have on airports around the world.

Light Rail Revival Brings Greater Complexity to PPPs

Renewed global interest in trams and other types of light rail, and extensive use of public-private partnership (PPP) structures to finance their development highlight unique or exacerbated risks of those transactions compared to typical PPPs.

The Infrastructure Footrace: Why is Europe Stuck in Neutral?

As Europe now begins to recover from the decade old effects of the global financial crisis, investment in new and updated infrastructure has been shrinking.

Risk-Sharing Imperative for Light Rail Projects

Traffic congestion, lack of parking and numerous other factors are making what was considered by some to be an outmoded form of transportation desirable again for investors.

Guide to Investing

Fitch Ratings' guide to investing in Infrastructure and Project Finance

Wenger Departure Creates Some Uncertainty; Franchise Strength Drives Stable Outlook

The departure of Arsene Wenger as manager of Arsenal Football club will be slightly credit negative in the short term, as it may lead to financial performance volatility while the club finds a suitable replacement. However, it should be neutral to positive in the long term. 

Chinese Offshore Wind Growth Reflects Improved Returns

Growth in Chinese offshore wind power capacity has accelerated in recent years, reflecting lower costs and a relative improvement in tariffs compared with onshore wind power. The government's target of increasing offshore wind capacity to 5 gigawatts by 2020 is likely to be achieved at the rate of construction.

Fitch Assigns Port of Melbourne's Lonsdale Finance First-Time 'BBB'; Stable Outlook

 Fitch Ratings has assigned Lonsdale Finance Pty Ltd a First-Time Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BBB'. The Outlook is Stable.

Lonsdale Finance is the issuing entity for the Port of Melbourne. The rating reflects Port of Melbourne's role as a primary port of call serving the Victorian and broader Australian market, with a diversified landlord port business model benefiting from a stable regulatory regime and portfolio of long-term property leases governing operations of its well-established port facilities. The company's debt structure is senior, but the lack of strong covenants, non-amortising profile, high gearing and considerable refinancing risk constrain its rating.

Charging Infrastructure is Needed for Wider EV Adoption

Successful, widespread use of EVs requires material investments in comprehensive EV charging infrastructure. While there has been some progress, with a growing number of charging points across Europe, a dense and convenient charging infrastructure is still lacking and might become a hindrance for further advances in EV adoption. 

Contractor Squeeze Will Add to US Infrastructure Woes

The lack of planning and funding for some state transportation projects has begun to raise credit pressures on contractors handling large projects. We expect this dynamic to continue as state revenue growth has slowed and federal funding seems unlikely.

Chicago O'Hare Airport Inks New Airline Agreement

The City of Chicago and the leading carriers serving O'Hare International Airport will begin to operate under a new airline use and lease agreement (AUL) starting in May 2018, which Fitch Ratings views as an essential step to allow the airport to address both the modernization and the expansion of the airport.

More New Managed Lanes Popping up in the US

"The longest operating facility, SR-91 in California, has seen an immediate and sizeable boost to Orange County Transportation Authority's revenues from the Riverside County Transportation Commission's express lanes extension, which led Fitch to revise its Rating Outlook on the project to Positive from Stable," said Director Tanya Langman. 

US Transportation Growth Steady as Focus Turns to Interest Rates, Trade

Recent trade friction between the United States and China and the prospects for higher interest rates are not likely to affect growth for the major transportation segments for the foreseeable future.

Florida Underscores State Commitment to Toll Projects

A bill which would have authorized the FDOT to acquire Garcon Point Bridge (the bridge) did not pass the Florida senate. The bill would have provided the FDOT with the authorization to purchase the bridge, repay itself for operations and maintenance and capital costs previously expended and to purchase the authority's $135 million in defaulted bonds at a discounted price. 

Stricter Safety Standards May Affect Indonesian Contractors

Indonesia's government is likely to adopt stricter safety and construction quality standards for infrastructure projects, after several accidents prompted a moratorium that temporarily stopped the construction on a number of projects to conduct inspections.

2018 Milken Institute MENA Summit

One Belt One Road - Exporting China's Domestic Development Story​

James​​ McCormack, Global Head of Sovereign and Supranational ratings, joins thought leaders in Abu Dhabi to assess China's One Belt One Road Initiative, as a part of Fitch Ratings' sponsorship of the Milken Institute inaugural MENA Summit.

Fitch Tools

FACT Shows Large Hubs Again Driving Traffic for US Airports

Annual passenger traffic at US airports grew at an even greater rate in 2016 while airport debt remained relatively flat.



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