Columbia's Public-Private Infrastructure Development Fund

The Economist reports on Columbia's National Development Finance corporation (FDN), https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/09/15/colombias-development-bank-has-brought-in-private-sector-discipline.


Summary: Columbia, which according to the World Economic Forum has among the worst roads in Latin America, is having decent success with FDN, a infrastructure development fund founded in 2013. This fund is a private-public, and foreign-domestic partnership.


Specifically, the FDN is organized on a shareholder basis, with Colombia’s government as the majority shareholder, the International Finance Corporation and the Andean Development Corporation each holding around 8-9%, and also the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, a private Japanese bank, holding a similar share." These foreign private shareholders "appoint three board members between them, matching the government’s quota. A final three, also chosen by the government, must be from outside politics. For a [road development] project to get FDN financing, the board must sign it off. The hope is that the foreign and independent members will reject those that show signs of rigged bids or padded contracts."


"So far the model appears to be working well. By the end of 2018 the FDN expects to have closed financing for 17 projects, worth $8.4bn, of the 30 planned under the 4G banner. Of that, 24% will come from abroad. It is now branching out from roads to other investments, including Bogotá’s Metro, which will be Colombia’s priciest infrastructure project to date, at an estimated cost of $4.6bn for 25km of elevated track." However, the fund will need even more capital and an IPO will likely be needed.


The other issue is that "Colombians hate road tolls. Earlier this year tolls were suspended in Urabá, in the country’s north, after protesters burnt toll-points and killed three people. The government has agreed to pay FDN concessionaires any money they are unable to collect."


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