A planned up to $650 million corporate bond issue by Panama City's Tocumen International airport has received investment grade ratings, benefitting from an implicit government guarantee.
Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rate the proposed 10-year senior secured debt BBB, based on the implicit guarantee by the Panamanian government. The government owns the airport.
“This assessment reflects the airport's strong competitive position as the major international gateway to Panama, strong traffic growth potential thanks to the expected economic growth in the short to medium term, a government strategy focused on business and tourism development that should continue attracting passengers, and relatively stable cash flow generation,” says Candela Macchi, an analyst at S&P, in a statement.
The bonds are secured by a trust funded by a $29 passenger departure fee that the airport collects on every ticket. Panama-based Prival Bank is the bookrunner.
The debt finances Tocumen’s south terminal project, which includes at least 20 new gates, a new control tower and additional taxiways at the Copa Airlines hub.
Brazil’s Constructora Norberto Odebrecht broke ground on the $670 million project earlier this year with opening scheduled for late 2016.
Tocumen handled 6.9 million passengers in 2012.