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ôOver the past several years we have seen a steady increase in the level of international project financing, with Japanese players (trading companies, banks and electric and gas utilities) taking larger roles,ö says Gary Wigmore, head of MilbankÆs Asia project finance practice and managing partner of it Tokyo office. ôThis growth, which is primarily in the emerging markets, is being driven by the global need to develop new sources of energy and natural resources. At the same time, we anticipate growth in the Japanese projects market, with public infrastructure projects being financed with private funds.ö
According to the firm, PlenderleithÆs hiring is also in response to the increasing sophistication of the financing structures used in the emerging markets, which are based on global commercial experience, innovation and the ability to close complex financings.
He heads over to Milbank from Ashurst, after a six-year stretch in it s London and Tokyo offices. While at Ashurst, PlenderleithÆs practice focused on limited recourse multi-sourced financings, restructurings, joint ventures and acquisition financings. Within this realm, he honed his skills on project development and financings in the power, transport, petrochemical and oil sectors, and includes landmark transaction in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Caspian region and the Middle East.
His Japan experience is also a handy pickup for Milbank. He spent two years working with the Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) supporting Japanese investors and lenders in its overseas investment loan, co-financing and united loan programmes. During his stint with JBIC, he represented the bank on financings of Mozal II Aluminium Project in Mozambique, the Asia Silicones Monomer project in Thailand and the BP-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline project in Central Asia.
Plenderleith is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales and also admitted to practice law in new York. His hire comes as Milbank plans to expand its regional footprint through hiring more attorneys in its Asia finance group.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.
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SGX’s new framework for Spacs will likely provide investors with a much-needed channel for direct deals, but the verdict is still out on whether it will bring liquidity to the bourse.