Colombia banks, pension funds to finance half of 4G highways

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Colombian banks and pension funds will finance half of the country's 50tn-peso (US$25bn) 4G highways master plan, national infrastructure agency (ANI) head Luis Andrade said.

"Banks and pension funds will provide nearly half of proceeds needed, with 15tn and 10tn pesos, respectively," Andrade was quoted as saying by La República newspaper.

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Foreign banks would extend credit lines of 13tn pesos, while private equity funds would supply 7tn pesos and state financing company FDN between 5tn and 7tn pesos.

The 4G program involves 40 concessions for the expansion and construction of 8,000km of roads, bridges and tunnels to improve connectivity.

So far, Colombia has signed five 4G highway contracts for 5.8tn pesos.

ANI is now putting another four highways out to tender.

The government has eased rules to allow more companies to participate in the tenders, which have to date attracted few bidders. Insurer AIG said several highways could be difficult to award as traffic estimates for 20-25 projects – out of a total of 40 – were overstated, and anticipated possible financial strains in tenders.

But Andrade said on ANI's Twitter account: "We're moving forward with 4G concessions, with almost all of them awarded by the end of 2015."

BNamericas will host its 5th South America Infrastructure Summit in Colombia on October 22-23.