March 10, 2017 / 8:37 PM / 9 months ago

Brazil government sees strong interest for airport auction -sources

SAO PAULO, March 10 (Reuters) - Brazil is confident of strong investor turnout at an auction next week for the rights to run four airports, two government sources said on Friday, with at least nine operators showing appetite for one of the first in a wave of privatizations.

Spanish operators Aena SA, Obrascon Huarte Lain SA and Ferrovial SA, Germany’s Fraport AG and AviAlliance, France’s Vinci SA, Argentina’s Corporacion America, Brazil’s CCR SA and Zurich Airport have all expressed interest recently, they said.

Both sources said Vinci, Fraport and AviAlliance would likely bid on all four airports at the auction.

The auction, scheduled for Thursday at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, will determine the operating rights for airports in Porto Alegre, Florianopolis, Fortaleza and Salvador. Sealed bids are due on Monday.

The results will be an important gauge of President Michel Temer’s efforts to spur infrastructure spending with private capital, helping to lift Brazil’s economy from a deep recession and bolstering the federal budget with concession fees.

Temer’s government launched last week a programme of privatizations and infrastructure concessions aimed at raising 45 billion real ($14.32 billion) in private investment.

A source close to Ferrovial said the Spanish company was not planning to participate in next week’s auction, but it would continue analyzing other opportunities in Brazil.

Aena confirmed to Reuters that it was studying the airports up for auction but had not decided whether to participate.

Vinci, AviAlliance, Corporacion America, OHL and CCR did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Fraport and Zurich Airport declined to comment on the auction. ($1 = 3.1425 reais) (Reporting by Leonardo Goy; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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