Argentina is banking on a batch of six P3 highways to upgrade its infrastructure. The work, on over 3,000 km of the Rutas del Sur corridors, involves US$5 billion of construction and five concession teams, including a Chinese firm making its debut in Argentina. The awards by the Transport ministry come amid an underperforming economy bailed out by a US$50-billion standby credit line from the IMF that was larger than expected. Argentina’s need for the IMF loan came after a sharp weakening of the peso exchange rate to the dollar caused international investors to flee to safer havens.
But the IMF deal calls for fiscal austerity, which is expected to lead to lower growth next year. Although this has created uncertainties around the concession bids, no concessionaire withdrew after posting performance bonds.