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Gov’t to list 20%-40% of motorway management company

The government decided at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to list 20%-40% of the shares of state-owned National Motorway Management Rt (ÁAK) on the stock exchange within six months with the aim of raising Ft 30 billion to finance motorway construction projects, Minister of Economy and Transport János Kóka announced on Tuesday.

ÁAK will sign a 75-year contract with the state to build and operate motorways, drawing in funds of €1.9 billion during 2006 through loans and the issue of bonds. Kóka said the EU statistics office Eurostat would be satisfied with the financing construction, because motorway financing would be made not only statistically off-budget, but by a company in which the state holds less than 100%. Kóka said the motorways would remain state owned, but private capital would be involved in their construction and operation. He added that both domestic private and institutional investors could purchase the shares of ÁAK. He said the method of financing could reduce motorway construction costs, at 2004 prices, by 20%.
In the first phase of the new financing construction, ÁAK will organize a foreign issue of euro-denominated bonds worth €1.18 billion. The European Investment Bank has also offered to lend ÁAK €320 million. Later, ÁAK expects to draw on another €400 million, either from loans or more bond issues.