The Panamanian Association of Business Executives has joined other unions in criticizing the direct extension of the contract with Mexico's ICA.
Fernando Aramburu, president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDA) regrets that the contract signed by the Government with the company Ingenieros Civiles y Asociados Asociados (ICA) does not give more options to the National Highway Company (ENA). "It is not true that only ICA can enlarge the corridor. There must be a tender for this." he said.
The issuance by Empresa Nacional de Autopista (ENA), is due for release in mid-October and the funds will be used to finance the expansion of the Northern Corridor and for a toll system and a surveillance system.
The Northern Corridor extension will be made from Brisas del Golf up to the 24 de Diciembre and the toll system and video surveillance will be installed on these two highways.
The National Highway Company of Panama (ENA) has issued $600 million in ‘ENA Norte’ bonds, backed by cash flows from toll booths, and not guaranteed by the Panamanian Government.
A statement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance reads:
The company Empresa Nacional de Autopistas (ENA) successfully issued $600 million in bonds to international and domestic investors. The issue ENA Norte bonds, backed by future cash flows from toll booths on the Northern Corridor and without any guarantee from the Republic of Panama, was 2.5 times oversubscribed, receiving more than U.S. $ 1.5 billion in offers through the Panamanian Stock Exchange.
The Trust ENA Norte is to issue bonds worth $600 million maturing in 2028, in order to finance the purchase of the Northern Corridor from the Mexican company PYCSA.
From Resolution 118 of the Cabinet Council of Panama:
A favorable outcome was given and authorization approved for Empresa Nacional de Autopista, S.A. (ENA), and ENA Norte, S.A., to undertake with a financial institution or bank authorized to engage in the trust business in Panama, a trust agreement, which is constituted by the Trust Indenture, so that the trustee of the trust may issue bonds of up to the amount of six hundred million dollars, legal currency of the United States of America.
It has been announced that the purchase of the highway from the Mexican company PYCSA by the Panamanian State will be completed in July and funded by issuing bonds.
Negotiations for the purchase of the Northern Corridor from PYCSA should conclude in July with payment of 80% of the shares, said Rigoberto Effio, administrative and financial manager of the Empresa Nacional de Autopistas (ENA).
The $114.8 million contract includes the study, design, procurement and construction of Phase II of the Northern Corridor.
The works to complete the extension of the road to four lanes must be carried out in 24 months.
"In a report sent to the Mexican Stock Exchange, the developer explained that the contract provides for the study, design, procurement and construction of Phase II of the Northern Corridor, which includes an 10.3 km extension of the four-lane highway, from the Brisas del Bolf section of the street TO 24 de Deciembre", reported Milenio.com
The Mexican company ICA made a net profit of about $220 million after the concession for the Southern Corridor reverted to the Panamanian government.
A press release by the company dated August 1, 2011 stated that “Today, ICA and the company owned by the Government of Panama, the National Highway Company, SA (ENA) signed an agreement for the sale of shares held by ICA Panamá, for the ‘Corredor Sur’ concession. The Southern Corridor is a 19.8 km highway linking the center of Panama City and Tocumen International Airport.
The National Highway Company (ENA in Spanish) has issued certificates on the stock exchange in order to raise funds for the South Corridor for the company ICA.
Using debt bonds, with one series placed on the international market and another in the local market, the ENA was able to raise $225 million in the local market at a rate of 5.25% and $170 million in the international market at 5.75%.
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