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Fitch rates Maipo hwy. planned US$421mn bond issue AAA

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, July 22, 2004
Fitch Ratings has given a preliminary AAA rating to a planned bond issue for up to some US$421mn by Autopista del Maipo, the operator of the Santiago-Talca stretch of the Pan American highway (Ruta 5) in Chile, Fitch announced. The bonds, to be issued in the country's inflation-indexed currency the UF, are part of the concessionaire's refinancing process. The rating is based on a guarantee from MBIA Insurance Corporation and the signing of an income distribution mechanism (MDI) contract with the public works ministry, said Fitch. In general terms, under an MDI contract, the government insures the revenue of a concessionaire against a sudden drop in traffic flows in return for a premium paid via public works construction. Earlier this month, Autopista announced the board ratified an agreement with ABN AMRO Bank whereby the bank opened a credit line from which Autopista would obtain financing to tackle eventual financial contingencies that could arise during the concession. Spain's Cintra controls Autopista del Maipo which picked up the 25-year concession in 1998 to improve and operate the 266km stretch that runs from capital Santiago to Region VII capital Talca. The contract includes a 47km southern access roadway to Santiago that will be completed in the second half of 2005. For Fitch's report (in Spanish), paste the following link in your browser: www.bnamericas.com/rc_search_detail.xsql?id_documento=52462&Tx_idioma=E

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