PROJECT FINANCE: Latin Port sector rides through turbulent times

Latin port projects have proven popular despite the choppy times. They long-term make sense as the region faces massive bottlenecks and  governments have embraced port privatization while natural resource companies are scrambling to build their own outlets. Ports are rich generators of dollars, which is conducive to multi-lateral US dollar funding and international commercial bank participation, , says Gabriel Goldschmidt, senior manager for Latin America infrastructure at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IFC has financed more than 20 seaport projects in the region.

The soundness of the port industry and the economic viability of these projects thanks to the trade boom between Asian and Latin America means the sector has done remarkably well to date, says Fuensanta Diaz Cobacha, MD, head of infrastructure Americas at WestLB. Giant Empresa Brasileira de Terminais Portuarios (Embraport) closed in November in spite of turmoil in the markets.  

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