Infrastrukturinvestments werden auch für Banken eine begünstigte Assetklasse

23.11.2016 COM(2016) 850 final 2016/0360 (COD)

Ende September legte die EU-Kommission ihre Entwürfe für eine Ergänzung der Solvency II vor, die im April 2016 auch in Kraft traten.  Die Ergänzung schaffte eine neue Assetklasse, die der Qualifying Infrastructure Investments (QII). Die Eigenkapitalunterlegungen bei Investments von Versicherungen in Infrastrukturrisiken für die Spreadrisks solcher Investments werden fortan deutlich sinken.

Nun plant Brüssel Infrastrukturmaßnahmen auch für Bankinvestments  nachzuziehen und dafür eine eigene Klasse mit deutlich gesenkten EK-Unterlegungen zu schaffen. Dazu legte die Kommission am 23.11.2016 einen entsprechenden Vorschlag vor (Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 as regards the leverage ratio, the net stable funding ratio, requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities, counterparty credit risk, market risk, exposures to central counterparties, exposures to collective investment undertakings, large exposures, reporting and disclosure requirements and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012)

 In dem Papier heißt es zu Infrastrukturinvestments:

“TREATMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE EXPOSURES (CRR)

Promoting viable infrastructure projects in domains like transport, energy, innovation, education, research is of vital importance for the economic growth of the Union. In conjunction with other Commission initiatives, like the Capital Market Union and the Investment Plan for Europe, the proposal aims at mobilising private finance for high quality infrastructure projects. Building on the recent developments in the regulatory framework for insurance undertakings and on the on-going work carried out in the context of the upcoming reform of the Standardised Approach by the BCBS, it is proposed to grant, under both the Standardised Approach and the Internal Based Approach for credit risk, a preferential treatment to specialised lending exposures aiming at funding safe and sound infrastructure projects. These are defined through a set of criteria able to reduce the risk profile of the exposure and enhance the capacity of institutions to manage that risk. The criteria are consistent with those identifying qualifying infrastructure projects that receive a preferential treatment in the Solvency II framework. The proposed treatment is subject to a review clause in order to possibly fine-tune the provision in light of its impact on infrastructure investments in the EU and to take into account any relevant development at global level. It will also allow, if appropriate, to amend the provision in view of more flexibility with regard to the financing structure of infrastructure projects, i.e. to extend the treatment to infrastructure corporates. The Commission, after consulting the EBA, will report on the trends in the market for infrastructure investments and the effective risk profile of those investments and shall submit this report to the European Parliament and the Council together with any appropriate proposal.

Investments in infrastructure are essential to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and to stimulate job creation. The recovery and future growth of the Union economy depends largely on the availability of capital for strategic investments of European significance in infrastructure, notably broadband and energy networks, as well as transport infrastructure, particularly in industrial centres; education, research and innovation; and renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Investment Plan for Europe aims at promoting additional funding to viable infrastructure projects through, inter alia, the mobilization of additional private source of finance. For a number of potential investors the main concern is the perceived absence of viable projects and the limited capacity to properly evaluate risk given their intrinsically complex nature.

In order to encourage private investments in infrastructure projects it is therefore essential to lay down a regulatory environment that is able to promote high quality infrastructure projects and reduce risks for investors. In particular capital charges for exposures to infrastructure projects should be reduced provided they comply with a set of criteria able to reduce their risk profile and enhance predictability of cash flows. The Commission should review the provision by [three years after the entry into force] in order to assess a) its impact on the volume of infrastructure investments by institutions and the quality of investments having regard to EU’s objectives to move towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient and circular economy; and b) its adequacy from a prudential standpoint. The Commission should also consider whether the scope should be extended to infrastructure investments by corporates.”

In einem neuen CRR-Paragraphen werden nunmehr in Analogie zu dem neuen Art. 164a der Solvency II die Anforderungen an begünstigte Qualifying Infrastructure Investments definiert:

Zum CRR Article 501a Adjustment to capital requirements for credit risk for exposures to entities that operate or finance physical structures or facilities, systems and networks that provide or support essential public services

Die Frage stellt sich allerdings, wem diese Begünstigung vor allem zu Gute kommt. Denn das Angebot von privaten Infrastrukturinvestments in Europa ist knapp. Nicht von ungefähr schauen daher viele Investoren erwartungsvoll auf Trumps Infrastruktur-Pläne.

Zum Entwurf der neuen EU CRR-Ergänzungen

Zum Vergleich Art. 164a Solvency II und Art. 501 CRR-Ergänzung

 

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