VII-Financing of Constructed Facilities The Financing Problem Institutional Arrangement for Facility Financing Avaluation of Alternative Financing Plans.
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VII-Financing of Constructed Facilities The Financing Problem Institutional Arrangement for Facility Financing Avaluation of Alternative Financing Plans Secured Loans with Bonds Notes and Mortgages Overdraft Accıunts Refinancing of Depts Project versusu Corporate Finance Shifting Financing Burdens Construction Financing for Contractors Effects of Other Factors on a contractor’s Profits
7.1 The Financing Problems At a more general level, project finance is only one aspect of the general problem of corporate finance. If numerous projects are considered and financed together, then the net cash flow requirements constitutes the corporate financing problem for capital investment. Whether project finance is performed at the project or at the corporate level does not alter the basic financing problem. In essence, the project finance problem is to obtain funds to bridge the time between making expenditures and obtaining revenues. Based on the conceptual plan, the cost estimate and the construction plan, the cash flow of costs and receipts for a project can be estimated
7.2 Institutional Arrangements for Facility Financing Financing arrangements differ sharply by type of owner and by the type of facility construction A private corporation which plans to undertake large capital projects may use its retained earnings, seek equity partners in the project, issue bonds, offer new stocks in the financial markets, or seek borrowed funds in another fashion. Potential sources of funds would include pension funds, insurance companies, investment trusts, commercial banks and others. Public projects may be funded by tax receipts, general revenue bonds, or special bonds with income dedicated to the specified facilities.
7.3 Evatuation of Alternative Financing Plans Since there are numerous different sources and arrangements for obtaining the funds necessary for facility construction, owners and other project participants require some mechanism for evaluating the different potential sources. The relative costs of different financing plans are certainly important in this regard. In addition, the flexibility of the plan and availability of reserves may be critical. As a project manager, it is important to assure adequate financing to complete a project. Alternative financing plans can be evaluated using the same techniques that are employed for the evaluation of investment alternatives.
7.4 Secured Loans with Bonds, Notes and Motrgages Secured lending involves a contract between a borrower and lender, where the lender can be an individual, a financial institution or a trust organization. Notes and mortgages represent formal contracts between financial institutions and owners. Usually, repayment amounts and timing are specified in the loan agreement. Public facilities are often financed by bond issues for either specific projects or for groups of projects. For publicly issued bonds, a trust company is usually designated to represent the diverse bond holders in case of any problems in the repayment. The borrowed funds are usually secured by granting the lender some rights to the facility or other assets in case of defaults on required payments. In contrast, corporate bonds such as debentures can represent loans secured only by the good faith and credit worthiness of the borrower.
7.5 Overdraft Accounts Overdrafts can be arranged with a banking institution to allow accounts to have either a positive or a negative balance. With a positive balance, interest is paid on the account balance, whereas a negative balance incurs interest charges. Usually, an overdraft account will have a maximum overdraft limit imposed. Also, the interest rate h available on positive balances is less than the interest rate i charged for borrowing.
7.6 Refinancing of Depts Refinancing of debts has two major advantages for an owner. – First, they allow re-financing at intermediate stages to save interest charges. If a borrowing agreement is made during a period of relatively high interest charges, then a repurchase agreement allows the borrower to re-finance at a lower interest rate. Whenever the borrowing interest rate declines such that the savings in interest payments will cover any transaction expenses (for purchasing outstanding notes or bonds and arranging new financing), then it is advantageous to do so. –Another reason to repurchase bonds is to permit changes in the operation of a facility or new investments. Under the terms of many bond agreements, there may be restrictions on the use of revenues from a particular facility while any bonds are outstanding. These restrictions are inserted to insure bondholders that debts will be repaid. By repurchasing bonds, these restrictions are removed
7.7 Project versus Corporate Finance A construction project is only a portion of the general capital budgeting problem faced by an owner. Unless the project is very large in scope relative to the owner, a particular construction project is only a small portion of the capital budgeting problem. Numerous construction projects may be lumped together as a single category in the allocation of investment funds. Construction projects would compete for attention with equipment purchases or other investments in a private corporation. Financing is usually performed at the corporate level using a mixture of long term corporate debt and retained earnings. A typical set of corporate debt instruments would include the different bonds and notes discussed in this chapter. Variations would typically include different maturity dates, different levels of security interests, different currency denominations, and, of course, different interest rates.
7.8 Shifting Financial Burdens The different participants in the construction process have quite distinct perspectives on financing. In the realm of project finance, the revenues to one participant represent an expenditure to some other participant. Payment delays from one participant result in a financial burden and a cash flow problem to other participants. It is common occurrence in construction to reduce financing costs by delaying payments in just this fashion. Shifting payment times does not eliminate financing costs, however, since the financial burden still exists.
7.8 Shifting Financial Burdens Under conditions of economic uncertainty, a premium to hedge the risk must be added to the estimation of construction cost by both the owner and the contractor. The larger and longer the project is, the greater is the risk. For an unsophisticated owner who tries to avoid all risks and to place the financing burdens of construction on the contractor, the contract prices for construction facilities are likely to be increased to reflect the risk premium charged by the contractors. In dealing with small projects with short durations, this practice may be acceptable particularly when the owner lacks any expertise to evaluate the project financing alternatives or the financial stability to adopt innovative financing schemes.
7.9 Construction Financing for Contractors For a general contractor or subcontractor, the cash flow profile of expenses and incomes for a construction project typically follows the work in progress for which the contractor will be paid periodically. The markup by the contractor above the estimated expenses is included in the total contract price and the terms of most contracts generally call for monthly reimbursements of work completed less retainage.
7.10 Effects of Others Factors on a Contractor’s Profits In times of economic uncertainty, the fluctuations in inflation rates and market interest rates affect profits significantly. The total contract price is usually a composite of expenses and payments in then-current dollars at different payment periods. In this case, estimated expenses are also expressed in then- current dollars. During periods of high inflation, the contractor's profits are particularly vulnerable to delays caused by uncontrollable events for which the owner will not be responsible. Hence, the owner's payments will not be changed while the contractor's expenses will increase with inflation.