China seeks overseas investor for southwest airport

September 1, 2008

, SHANGHAI, September 1 – China\’s Yunnan Airport Group is seeking an overseas investor to help finance a new 18.4-billion-yuan (2.7-billion-dollar) airport in southwest China, the airport operator said Monday.

The new airport in Kunming city, the capital of Yunnan province, wants to position itself as an international aviation hub linking China to South and Southeast Asia as well as with Europe, the group said in a statement.

Foreign companies are being asked to invest cash, according to a statement posted on the provincial government website.

An airport official involved in the search for a foreign partner told AFP the state-run Yunnan Airport Group will keep a controlling stake of no less than 51 percent after an overseas investor is found.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added the airport has yet to receive any offers.

The official China Business News reported on Monday that Airport Authority of Hong Kong, Australian investment company Macquarie Group and the operators of Singapore\’s Changi Airport and Frankfurt Airport have expressed interest.

The airport is expected to become China\’s fourth largest, with annual passenger traffic of 38 million and cargo traffic of 1.3 million tonnes by 2020, according to the statement.

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