The prospect of tightening monetary policy could be a significant headwind for global infrastructure securities, warns Zenith Investment Partners.
Zenith's 2017 Infrastructure Sector Review found that global listed infrastructure is continuing to gain traction in investor portfolios as the sector experiences strong returns.
The infrastructure asset class has benefited from the low interest environment globally, with global listed infrastructure generating a 14.2 per cent return from June 2016 to June 2017.
However, that strong performance could come to an abrupt halt if central bankers begin tightening interest rates, the report said.
That said, there are "material differences" between the returns of different infrastructure sectors, according to Zenith.
Certain sub-sectors with higher yields, higher leverage and less exposure to the wider economy are more sensitive to interest rate movements, while sub-sectors with lower yields, lower leverage and higher exposure to the wider economy are less sensitive.
The most sensitive sub-sector is utilities, with towers coming in second followed by water and pipelines.
Railways is the least sensitive to interest rates, followed by ports, airports, satellites and toll roads.