Airports add value to unlisted infrastructure portfolios

The airport sector, which has a strong track record of long-term growth in Australia and has been a strong driver for unlisted infrastructure portfolios, is expected to offer more opportunities in the current low interest rate environment, according to specialist unlisted infrastructure manager Infrastructure Partners Investment Fund (IPIP).

Also, the sector delivered only two years of negative passenger growth in Australia over the last 30 year and, on top of that, investors should consider this asset as two separate businesses: airside and land-side.

Jonathan van Rooyen, Chief Investment Officer at IPIF, said that unlisted infrastructure in a portfolio sat between government bonds and equities in terms of risk and return, making it an excellent portfolio diversifier.

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“Unlisted infrastructure’s potential for stable, reliable income and capital growth is derived from long-term,  stable and predictable cash flows, typically underpinned by long-term contracts or a regulated asset base, with high visibility of income and revenues often linked to inflation.

According to IPIF, unlisted infrastructure investments accounted for between 5-15% of major institutional investor portfolios, including Australia’s two largest investors, the Future Fund and Australian Super.

“The airport sector performed well, recovering resiliently through multiple macro and industry shocks such as the global financial crisis, with airlines managing the down cycle through a range of initiatives including discounted ticket prices and reduced services for example,” van Rooyen said.

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