Investors shouldn't count on a repeat of the strong double-digit returns global infrastructure funds recorded in 2014, warns SQM Research.
SQM Research's 2015 Global Infrastructure Securities Sector Review warned that infrastructure assets are not immune to short-term market sentiment.
Four global infrastructure funds participated in the review, with a median sector rating of four ('Superior. Suitable for inclusion on most approved product lists').
The Magellan Infrastructure Fund and the RARE Infrastructure Value Fund both received a rating of 4.25, while the RARE Emerging Markets Infrastructure Fund and the Maple-Brown Abbot Global Listed Infrastructure Fund were rated a four.
The high ratings are a reflection of the "high calibre of the investment management teams, with track records in infrastructure assets and robust investment processes", said a statement by SQM Research.
"The global infrastructure sector performed well in 2014 and continued to do so in the first quarter of 2015."
Throughout the year to March 2015, the S&P Global Infrastructure NR Index (AUD Hedged) and the UBS Developed Infrastructure and Utilities Accumulation Index (AUD Hedged) delivered strong performances of 18.08 per cent and 16.35 per cent, respectively.
"Investors' hunt for yield in the current low-interest rate environment anchored demand for the asset class and fuelled valuations," said SQM Research.
The hunger for investments that perform well in a rising interest rate environment will also buoy the sector, said the research house.
"The challenge going forward is for managers to exhibit discipline as prices creep above internal valuations," SQM Research said.
"Against the backdrop of ... macro level concerns, the year ahead is highly uncertain and it’s reasonable for investors to not expect the double-digit returns from infrastructure assets witnessed in 2014.
"Infrastructure assets are not immune to short-term market sentiment and in the current environment macro risks can result in dispersion of returns."