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Items filtered by date: April 2017

Brazil Cuts Stake in China-Led Infrastructure Bank

May 12, 2017

By: Brian Spegele

(The Wall Street Journal) Brazil is slashing its planned stake in China's landmark infrastructure development bank, in a growing pain for Beijing's efforts to create alternative global institutions to place its stamp on the world order.

After initially pledging to take nearly 32,000 shares—worth more than $3 billion—when signing as a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in 2015, Brazil informed the AIIB in recent months that it will subscribe to 50 shares, said people familiar with the matter. The decision was based on domestic considerations, particularly measures to cut government spending...

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Read More At The Wall Street Journal:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/brazil-cuts-stake-in-china-led-infrastructure-bank-1494596694

 

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World’s first light rail on a floating bridge: For I-90, Sound Transit had to invent ‘a brilliant solution’

May 12, 2017

By: Mike Lindblom

(The Seattle Times) Sound Transit will soon try something unprecedented — building and operating train tracks on a floating bridge. The work begins June 3 in the center express lanes of Interstate 90, after carpools, buses and Mercer Island motorists are kicked out to make room for light-rail contractors. Passenger service between Seattle, Bellevue and Overlake is scheduled to begin in 2023. The technical challenges are daunting.

Engineers have to ensure the bridge will remain buoyant when a pair of 300-ton trains pass each other, and that the high-voltage current that powers the trains won't stray into the bridge's pontoons and corrode its steel rebar. They spent $53 million just to design the section across Lake Washington. The most difficult task is adapting the rails to the movements of the bridge...

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Read More At The Seattle Times:  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/light-rail-track-floating-bridge-i-90-sound-transit/

 

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The Japan-China infrastructure battle is a welcome rivalry

May 12, 2017

By: Shotaro Tani

(Nikkei Asian Review) Competition between Japan and China to build Asia's infrastructure is healthy and will help spur the region's development, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Japan is advocating the construction of "high-quality infrastructure" in Asia, and is keen to push through such initiatives with the backing of the Asian Development Bank, with which it has a close relationship. China, meanwhile, is offering the region an alternative route to funding through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which it helped create...

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Read More At Nikkei Asian Review:  http://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20170511/Politics-Economy/The-Japan-China-infrastructure-battle-is-a-welcome-rivalry

 

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In charts: China’s Belt and Road Initiative

May 14, 2017

By: Gabriel Wildau and Nan Ma

(Financial Times)  China's President Xi Jinping will host 28 heads of state this weekend for a summit to promote his signature Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious programme of economic diplomacy that analysts have compared with the Marshall Plan.

Mr Xi's plan for a "Silk Road Economic Belt" and a "21st-century Maritime Silk Road", first proposed in 2013, calls for building infrastructure links to bind China more closely with central and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. In some versions of the plan, Latin America is also included...

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Read More At The Financial Times:  https://www.ft.com/content/18db2e80-3571-11e7-bce4-9023f8c0fd2e

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Fort Worth takes big step toward high-speed rail link with Dallas

May 12, 2017

By: Sandra Baker

(Star-Telegram) As state lawmakers in Austin debate measures that could kill plans for high-speed trains between downtown Dallas and Houston, the Fort Worth City Council is moving forward with plans to create a rail link to Dallas.

Fort Worth and Dallas are in the process of preparing for a 30- to 40-mile high-speed rail line between the two cities called the DFW Core Express. A $15 million environmental impact study of the possible route is expected to be completed in 2018. On Tuesday, the Fort Worth city council considered creating a local government corporation with Dallas, an entity that would govern inter-city passenger rail service. Discussions are also focusing on including a stop in Arlington and adding that city to the corporation...

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Read More At The Star-Telegram:  http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article149594864.html

 

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Fund Investors Are Betting Big on Infrastructure

May 12, 2017

By: Bailey McCann

(The Wall Street Journal) Emboldened by President Donald Trump's campaign promise of a $1 trillion infrastructure-spending package, investors have plowed more than $460 million into related U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds so far this year, according to data from Morningstar Inc.

At the end of the first quarter, the amount sitting in such funds stood at $16.1 billion, up 12% from a year earlier, though the euphoria has eased as the market begins to digest just how much stands in the way of an infrastructure package—from shifting priorities in the White House to opposition in Congress...

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Read More At The Wall Street Journal:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/fund-investors-are-betting-big-on-infrastructure-1494209341?tesla=y

 

 

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Private-sector role in Canada Infrastructure Bank raises conflict issues

May 5, 2017

(The Globe and Mail)nternal documents reveal the extensive involvement of privatesector actors in the Liberal government's efforts to shape and promote a $35-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank, raising conflict-of-interest questions as Ottawa attempts to attract private money to help build public projects.

Records show the government spent months working with private-sector advisers to prepare for a closed-door meeting at Toronto's Shangri-La Hotel last November, in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior ministers made the case to institutional investors about the benefits of the bank, which had been announced two weeks earlier...

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Read More At The Globe and Mail: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-bc-edition/20170505/281492161224121

 

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India looks for sound funding as it targets infrastructure

May 5, 2017

By: Simon Mundy

(Financial Times) Six days a week, Sigma Electric's factory in the western Indian industrial hub of Pune is filled with deafening crashes, roars and hisses as aluminium is melted before being cast into specialised components by dozens of heavy machines.

But every Thursday, the plant falls silent — a victim of "load shedding" by the municipal government, which regularly cuts off electricity to manufacturers to ease the strain on the city's creaking power infrastructure...

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Read More At The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/49ddda7e-028a-11e7-aa5b-6bb07f5c8e12

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Asean has invested ‘less than half’ of what it will need

May 5, 2017

By: Michael Peel and Jeevan Vasagar

(Financial Times) Southeast Asia's leading economies have some of the wider region's fastest growth rates and most pressing infrastructure needs — as well as the biggest divides between reconciling the two.

Research has highlighted the vast infrastructure gaps in Asean's big six economies of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The countries are not even halfway toward the $2.1tn investment they will need to make between 2015 and 2030, according a 2016 report from HSBC. Indonesia alone was more than $700bn short of its $1.16tn requirements, the bank said...

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Read More At The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/5f6f3ec6-028c-11e7-aa5b-6bb07f5c8e12

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Cadiz Announces $255 Million in Construction Financing for Desert Water Project

May 5, 2017

By Howard Fine

(Los Angeles Business Journal) With the Trump administration soon likely to approve its long-sought desert water storage and transmission project, Cadiz Inc. announced Tuesday it has arranged up to $255 million in construction financing from giant private equity firm Apollo Global Management.Cadiz signed agreements with several funds managed by Apollo affiliates that will provide an immediate injection of $60 million, including $45 million to refinance senior secured mortgage debt and $15 million for initial construction expenditure.

Apollo affiliated funds have also conditionally committed $240 million in construction financing to complete the first phase of the Cadiz project, though in the announcement, Cadiz warned investors that this commitment is "highly conditional" and is not guaranteed to close...

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Read More At Los Angeles Business Journal:  http://labusinessjournal.com/news/2017/may/02/cadiz-announces-255-million-construction-financing/

 

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