Friday, May 16, 2014

Taking My First Coursera Class - Financing and Investing in Infrastructure

I signed up for my first Coursera class - - Financing and Investing in Infrastructure.  This is from the course website.  I will pass on to the readership my thoughts on the class and platform.

"According to the OECD, the total global infrastructure investment requirement by 2030 for transport, electricity generation, transmission and distribution, water and telecommunications comes to $71tn. This figure represents about 3.5% of the annual World GDP from 2007 to 2030.
The European Commission estimated that, by 2020, Europe will need between euro 1.5tn and euro 2tn of infrastructure investments. In the time period between 2011 and 2020, about euro 500bn will be required for the implementation of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme, euro 400bn for Energy distribution networks and smart grids, euro 200 bn on Energy transmission networks and storage and euro 500bn for the upgrade and construction of new power plants. An additional euro 38-58bn and euro 181-268bn capital investment will be needed to achieve the targets set by the European Commission for broadband diffusion.
Traditionally, investments in infrastructure were financed using public sources. However, severe budget constraints and inefficient management of infrastructure by public entities have led to an increased involvement of private investors in the business.
The course focuses on how private investors approach infrastructure projects from the standpoints of equity, debt and hybrid instruments.
The course is concentrated on the practical aspects of project finance, the most frequently used financial technique for infrastructure investments. The repeated use of real life examples and case studies allows students to link the theoretical background to actual business practice.
At the end of the course, students will be in the position to analyze a complex transaction, to identify key elements of the deal and to suggest proper solutions for deal structuring from the perspective of a financial advisor.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction to project and infrastructure finance; vocabulary of project finance.

Week 2: The syndication process.

Week 3: Risk analysis and risk allocation from the perspective of private investors.

Week 4: Capital budgeting for infrastructure investments.

Week 5: How to assess the financial sustainability of an infrastructure project from the investor's standpoint.

Week 6: Recent evolutions in the infrastructure finance market.

Recommended Background

No particular background in finance is required, although a basic knowledge of principles of corporate finance is recommended.

Suggested Readings

The course is designed to be self-contained.

For those students interested in additional study material, we suggest you to refer to:
Gatti Stefano, Project Finance in theory and practice, Academic Press, 2nd edition, 2012.

Course Format

The course will consist of lecture videos, readings, speeches by guest speakers and assignments.
Although we hope you will attend the entire course, it is possible to focus on single topics.


  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?
  • Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
  • Do I need special resources for the course?
  • No, the course is self-contained. You simply need an Internet connection, copies of the teaching materials at hand and the time to read, write, discuss, and above all enjoy what we will explore.
  • What is the most important reason for me to attend this course?
  • If you really want to learn how to structure the financing package for an infrastructure project or determine if an infrastructure investment is attractive for a private investor, this is definitely the course for you."

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