Consortium makes Panama Canal financing counter-proposal

PANAMA CITY Tue Jan 7, 2014 5:31pm EST

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PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A Spanish-led consortium expanding the Panama Canal on Tuesday made a counter-proposal to jointly finance work on the project amid a row over costs on one of the world's top trade routes.

Building consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), led by Spanish construction company Sacyr (SCYR.MC), said it would contribute $100 million to a joint financing plan to keep the project going amid a cost overrun, and asked the canal administrator for a $400 million advance.

The Panama Canal Authority earlier proposed a $283 million joint financing package, which was less attractive for the building companies because it requires them to put up fresh cash while the authority would simply advance funds it would have paid anyway.

(Reporting by Lomi Kriel)

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