Infrastructure firmly on the radar of specialised investment funds
UniCredit announces that 160 investors and 53 stock listed companies are participating in the 2018 edition of the Italian Investment Conference, organised by UniCredit Corporate & Investment Banking in cooperation with Kepler Cheuvreux at the UniCredit Tower, Milan.
The volume of investors - two thirds coming from abroad - and companies participating in the event are in line with last year's record levels and confirms the Italian Investment Conference's position as the biggest capital markets event in Italy.
The Italian Investment Conference brings together the largest and most representative group of Italian corporates with key international investors. The event provides a unique opportunity for networking, introductions and business opportunities, as well as a platform to discuss the broader trends at play in the Italian economy.
Commenting on the conference, Olivier Khayat, global Co-Head of UniCredit CIB alongside Gianfranco Bisagni, said: "We are delighted in the strong interest shown by investors and corporates taking part in our event. Year after year, the Italian Investment Conference registers increasing participation and today is no exception, with corporates representing about 60 per cent of the total capitalisation of non-financial companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and two thirds of investors from 15 foreign markets. League tables show that UniCredit is the ideal partner to give corporate access to international capital markets".
According to Dealogic, net of UniCredit's right issuance, equity issuances amounted to EUR 2.8 billion in the period January to April 2018, against EUR 2.0 billion in the same period last year. In Europe, across the same time horizon, equity issuances amounted to EUR 46 billion compared to EUR 68 billion in 2017. Against this backdrop, UniCredit has confirmed its role as one of the most active book-runners of equity issuance in Italy, according to Dealogic data.
M&A activity has also registered a strong increase in Italy in the first four months of the year, with the volume of transactions amounting to EUR 50 billion YTD, compared with EUR 36 billion in the same period last year, representing an increase of close to 39 per cent, according to Mergermarket.
During the plenary session on the first day of the Conference, a discussion panel between companies (Erg, EI Towers, Iren) and investors (Macquarie, Pan European Investment Fund II, PSP Investments) took place, focusing on infrastructure investments, a sector that has recently seen numerous M&A transactions close with very high multiples.
Several Italian infrastructure companies excel in terms of know-how, technology and customer base, whilst exporting their capabilities and evolving into global centers of excellence. Infrastructure is increasingly becoming a crucial enabler in the pursuit of growth targets globally and Italy is no different. As such, we expect the new EU Budget plan to rebalance resources and allocate a growing component to infrastructure projects.
"The amount of investment needed to fill the Italian infrastructural gap, around EUR 250 billion according to current estimates, requires European and national public funds to be allocated more efficiently, the detection of a limited number of strategic projects to increase credit enhancement and the attraction of private funds " Alfredo De Falco, Head of UniCredit CIB Italy, added. "In this sense, infrastructure investments are becoming increasingly important assets in global investors' portfolios, with resources available to fund managers at a record USD 160 billion as of December 2017. Within this framework, banks such as ourselves can support infrastructure companies in both a financing and advisory capacity, helping them choose the appropriate financial structure and facilitating access to capital markets solutions through instruments such as project bonds when applicable".
Milan, 16 May 2018
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