Fitch changes Panama airport operator's rating outlook

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fitch revised to negative from stable the rating outlook on Panamanian airport operator Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen (Aitsa).

The outlook revision reflects liquidity gaps related to construction milestone payments for the transport hub's south terminal, the rating agency said in a report.

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Fitch expects Aitsa to experience a cash flow shortfall of approximately US$250mn needed for construction payments in 2015, as sales of commercial space this year did not materialize as planned.

Further negative rating actions would depend on how Aitsa "executes necessary funding," Fitch said.

In addition, Fitch affirmed at 'BBB' the long-term rating assigned to Aitsa's US$650mn secured debt (due 2023). It also affirmed the operator's 'AAA (pan)' and 'AAA(slv)' national scale ratings.

Tocumen international airport saw traffic increase 10% year-on-year in the first half to 4.9mn passengers. Revenue increased 8% to US$69mn over the period.

The airport's south terminal is due to be completed in 2016 and there are plans to build a third runway in 2019.