Australian investment bank Macquarie Bank Ltd (MBL.AU) sees opportunity in Japanese infrastructure since government budget constraints will likely lead to privatization in areas such as roads and ports in coming years. CEO Allan Moss said:
"We would be quite prepared to invest billions of dollars if we could find the right assets."
Macquarie is the world's largest toll-road operator and investor in airports. Its investments are in turn spun off into funds that yield dividends based on cash flows. CEO Moss commented:
"We [also] see good opportunities to invest in real estate and offer this [through Japanese real-estate funds] to investors globally."
Its recent JV with Japan's Shinsei Bank (Tokyo: 8303) will 'focus on acquiring and managing infrastructure projects in Japan' according to executives at Macquarie's Japan unit. Macquarie already owns two toll roads outside of Tokyo and sees the best real estate investment opportunities outside of Tokyo as well, citing competition in Tokyo and the need to be creative in real estate.
Comment: You have to admire Macquarie's investment style and its ability to read situations and make a play at often overlooked or undesirable assets that in fact turn out to be profitable. I am looking forward to Macquarie investment funds focused on Japan.
Macquarie currently has three investment funds listed on the NYSE (NYX): Macquarie Global Infrastructure Total Return Fund (MGU), Macquarie Infrastructure Co. Trust (MIC), and Macquarie First Global (MFD). Its ADRs are thinly traded on the pink sheets under ticker: (OTCPK:MQBKY).