BOGOTA, July 28 (Reuters) - Colombia's Bogota Metro Company
(EMB) on Tuesday issued 2.4 trillion pesos ($652 million) of
bonds to local capital markets to finance construction of the
first line of the city's new transport system, it said.
EMB will deliver the bonds to the Apca Transmimetro
consortium, which was awarded the project and is led by Chinese
companies Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) and Xi'an Metro
Co Ltd, once work begins.
Construction of Bogota's first metro line will cost 13.8
trillion pesos ($3.78 billion) and is expected to last around
seven years. Work is expected to start 240 days after the
memorandum to start construction is signed, which is projected
to take place on Oct. 23.
The metro, delayed by political disputes for years, is
considered crucial to ease traffic congestion in Bogota, with a
population of almost eight million, by complementing the
TransMilenio bus system.
The 23-year bonds are guaranteed by the government, EMB
Manager Andres Escobar told journalists. They represent the
largest internal issue of debt securities by a district company
and a Colombian public entity.
The paper is in addition to loans EMB secured almost two
years ago worth $1.65 billion.
"This issuance of internal debt completes the public
financing," Escobar said, adding that the consortium still had
to raise a proportion of private financing.
($1 = 3,679.17)
(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra
Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Richard Chang)