Finance

The Effects of Interest Rates on the Valuation of Highway Infrastructure Assets

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The discounted value of cash flows of assets is negatively related to interest rates (i.e., the discount rate effect). However, economic activity is positively related to interest rates and positively related to the cash flows of assets with tariffs that can be adjusted to manage demand such as adjustable-rate toll roads, but uncorrelated to assets that do not bear demand risk such as non-toll roads (i.e., the cash flow effect). This effect arises in some types of assets from: (i) the positive correlation between economic activity and demand for the infrastructure assets; and (ii) the positive correlation between economic activity and inflation. We find that the cash flow effect dominates the discount rate effect for assets with tariffs that can be adjusted to manage demand and, therefore, the value of these assets increases in periods of economic expansion. Nevertheless, the opposite occurs for assets that do not bear demand risk.
Bibliographic citation: Vergara, Carles, "The Effects of Interest Rates on the Valuation of Highway Infrastructure Assets", Transportation Management, (Forthcoming)
Date: 20/06/2019
Author(s): Vergara, Carles
Document type: Article in Journal (refereed)
Sector: Road transport and storage
Languages: English