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Saudi Arabia seeks finance for $1.6bn airport

Saudi's General Authority of Civil Aviation to hold Dubai roadshow.
Saudi arabia, NEWS, Aviation

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Saudi Arabia is seeking finance from international and regional banks for its first privately owned airport in Medina, Islam’s second Holy City, which is estimated to cost about 6 billion riyals ($1.6 billion).

The Saudi regulator, General Authority of Civil Aviation, will hold a roadshow in Dubai on April 7 to meet banks and investors interested in the airport that is planned to handle as many as 8 million passengers per year,” Alaa Samman, director of business development for domestic airports at the regulator, said yesterday in an interview.

“It’s a huge project that requires private lending and we want to make sure that banks are aware of that,” Samman said. The International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, will act as financial and legal adviser, he said.

GACA, as the regulator is known, is contacting potential investors to submit initial proposals by May 20 to build and operate the airport for no less than 25 years before transferring it to the government. The regulator will announce the winning bid on Nov. 25.

GACA plans to spend $10 billion to $20 billion on developing and upgrading airports by 2020 with private investors set to contribute as much as $10 billion to the projects.

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