UPDATE 1-Mexico to invest over $20 bln in infrastructure in 2013

Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:55pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY, June 20 (Reuters) - Mexico will spend more than $20 billion on roads, train lines and ports among other projects this year, President Enrique Pena Nieto said at an event where he signaled a long-awaited, six-year plan for investment will be announced in coming days.

The new government, which took office in December, has been slow to unveil an infrastructure spending plan for his six-year term and this has hurt shares in Mexican construction companies such as ICA.

Yet Pena Nieto said on Thursday work on some of the projects has already started.

"On top of the 123 billion pesos which is already in train for this half of the year, we will reach estimated investment in infrastructure of 310 billion ($23.08 billion) pesos this year," he said.

Mexico's last six-year plan involved about $200 billion in spending and analysts have said the new plan could be worth double that, with greater involvement from the private sector.

Investors and developers have already begun eyeing Pena Nieto's plan to oversee a passenger rail renaissance in Mexico, with six major projects planned by 2018, including a high-speed connection between Mexico City and the industrial hub of Queretaro, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital.

Bombardier Inc, the world's biggest train manufacturer, anticipates bidding on all six of the new Mexican passenger rail projects it expects to be tendered later this year.

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