• Metro Pacific seeks 50% stake in Thai toll road operator

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    METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the toll road unit of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is planning to seek a bigger stake in a Thai toll road operator.

    MPTC is planning to negotiate with Thailand’s Don Muang Tollway Public Co. Ltd., for a possible increase of its stake in the first quarter of 2015, company president Ramoncito Fernandez told reporters.

    “Yes. Depends on how much the Ministry of [Finance of] Thailand is going to offer. Kasi [Because] they’re the largest shareholder in Don Muang,” Fernandez said.

    Asked if the two parties are in talks, Fernandez replied, “Not yet. What is happening right now is the current transition government is settling down muna [for now].”

    The talks would be between Metro Pacific’s toll road arm MPTC, to raise its stake in Don Muang to about 50 percent from the current 29 percent.

    “Siguro [Maybe] close to 50 percent from 29 percent. There is another Thai family owning it. [The] Intention is close to 50. We think, in fairness to the current private owner, we will respect their intention to be the majority stakeholder,” Fernandez said.

    The company said that the traffic volume right now is about 70,000 [vehicles]per day. It has very good potential because the government has now revived its intention to make it a budget airline airport, the Dong Muang Airport.

    “They’re reviving it because mukhang punong puno na yung existing airport [it looks like the existing airport is already very congested]so they’re reviving the Dong Muang expansion. It will be used by the airport commuters. Then there is also the northern expansion, so the residents of the north working in Bangkok are also using it as a commuter expressway,” he said.

    In 2013 the company bagged a 29 percent minority stake in Don Muang. The project has a 27-year concession, with a concession period until 2034, to operate a 21.9-kilometer elevated toll road that runs from central Bangkok to the northern part of the city.

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