Eyeing a plethora of construction opportunities in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, a Chinese construction giant and an Australian investment veteran have officially teamed up with a Brazilian bank. Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory, principal investing and capital markets arm of Macquarie Group, announced on Nov. 4 an agreement to form Macquarie Development Corp. with China Communication Construction Co. (CCCC) and Banco Modal.

The new corporation will make equity investments in preconstruction infrastructure development projects in Latin America. In a press release, Mark Ramsey, head of Latin America infrastructure for Macquarie Capital, stated, "A shortage of development capital continues to be a constraint on infrastructure development in many Latin American markets. Macquarie ... will work with local developers in the preconstruction phases of development to make viable projects investment-ready for traditional infrastructure investors and funds."

A Macquarie spokesperson declined further comment beyond the statement. The company invested in a $700-million wind farm in Mexico in 2012, but that project has been plagued by opposition groups.

Norman Yi, president of CCCC's U.S.-based group, says the joint venture, which took about two years to form, represents the construction company's plan to evolve into an investor and developer and penetrate into a market relatively new to CCCC. The team, which may add more partners, will focus on clean-energy and infrastructure projects in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile, he says.

Also in the release, Cristiano Ayers, a Banco Modal partner, noted, "This partnership is a clear indication that infrastructure projects in Latin America are becoming more and more attractive to foreign investors. There is a huge pent-up demand for investments in infrastructure and logistics."