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Japan to open bids for Kansai, Osaka airports operating rights in October

Published on Jul 25, 2014 8:02 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan will in October invite bids for the operating rights for a major international airport, an official said on Friday, in a deal expected to be among the biggest in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to draw private funds into public infrastructure.

The licence for New Kansai International Airport, which will be bundled with the operating rights for smaller Osaka International Airport, should fetch at least 2 trillion yen (S$25 billion), Keiichi Ando, the chief executive of the government-owned New Kansai International Airport Co, told reporters.

The operating licence for both airports will be for 45 years and the auction is open to foreign and domestic investors, he added. The winner is likely to be announced by June next year.

The company, which runs both airports, will use the proceeds to repay its 1.2 trillion yen debt to the state, Mr Ando said. New Kansai International Airport is a regional hub in Osaka bay and Japan's fifth-largest airport by passenger traffic while Osaka airport is smaller.

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