Private-sector infrastructure investment slipped in 2015 by less than 1%, to a total of $111.6 billion, as financial commitments surged in Turkey but plunged in Brazil, the World Bank reports.
The bank’s Global Public-Private Investment report, released on June 13, also showed that the 2015 investment level was down 10% from the $124.1-billion annual average over the past five years.
Turkey had “a banner year” in 2015, the bank said, as the country closed financing on seven projects totaling $44.7 billion. The lion’s share was $35.6 billion for a new airport in Istanbul. Not all of those dollars went to construction: $29.1 billion of the airport total was for a concession fee paid to the government.
Outweighing the gains in Turkey were declines in other countries. Brazil saw infrastructure financing plummet by 90%, to $4.5 billion. Investments in China and India also dropped, the bank said.
Jenny Jing Chao, a World Bank Group public-private-partnership specialist, said via email that past years' data for Brazil included megaprojects related to this year's Summer Olympics and the 2014 World Cup, both held in Rio de Janeiro. She added, "Thus, there is a natural drop this year after that spending boom."
Transportation projects accounted for 63% of 2015 infrastructure financing volume, with $69.9 billion for 55 transactions.
Energy ranked second, with $37.6 billion for 205 transactions; water and sewerage had $4.1 billion for 40 transactions, the World Bank said.
Turkey wasn’t the only country where infrastructure dollars rose. Clive Harris, the World Bank Group’s practice manager for public-private partnerships, said in a statement that other emerging economies saw investments jump 92% last year, to $99.9 billion.
Harris said 2015 results from some of these countries—El Salvador, Georgia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Uganda and Zambia, among them—showed they were “emerging from a two-year or more hiatus.”
The bank’s report covers projects in transportation, water and energy, excluding oil and gas extraction. It only includes investments in what the bank terms low- and middle-income countries. For example, projects in the U.S. are excluded.