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Spain Plans 17 bln Euro Infrastructure Spend

Source: Reuters - Wed 7th Apr 2010

Debt-laden Spain unveiled a 17 billion euros infrastructure spending plan on Wednesday, looking to attract private investment to stimulate its construction sector as it struggles with a huge budget deficit.

The government said in a statement it expected 20 % of the funds to come from the private sector and 80 % from state financiers such as Instituto de Credito Oficial (ICO) and commercial banks.

Spain, whose 2009 budget deficit came in at 11.4 % of gross domestic product (GDP), wants to spend 70 %of the funds raised on rail projects and 30 % on roads. It said it would not spend anything itself until 2014.

Spain envisages a 3.9 % reduction in infrastructure spending by central government in 2010, with a sharp reduction in overall capital spending at all levels of government of 31 % between 2009 and 2013, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote this week.

Some of Europe's largest construction firms, such as Ferrovial, ACS and FCC, are looking to the government's infrastructure plan, equal to 1.7 % of Spain's GDP, to compensate for cuts in public works spending.

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