Spain to part privatise airport operator, end state rail monopoly

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Spain’s government is to partially privatise AENA, the national aviation authority.

It will sell up to 49 percent of the operator, which has stakes in 46 Spanish airports and more than 20 others abroad.

After years of losses, AENA made a profit – 597 million euros – for the first time last year, due to cost cuts.

The government will sell 28 percent of it in a public offering on the Spanish stock exchange, Public Works Minister Ana Pastor said, and an additional 21 percent will be auctioned to long-term investors.

The government is also to open up one of the country’s railway passenger routes to a private company.

Pastor told a news conference: “We want to provide a better range of services for the rail market, and also more competitive prices from increased competition. We want more people using the railways.”

This will end the monopoly of the state rail company RENFE.

The line to be opened up – for an initial seven year period – is the high-speed passenger route between Madrid and the eastern coastal cities of Valencia and Alicante.

with Reuters

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