MAp subsidiary divests 16% stake in ASUR; Mexico’s largest carrier files for bankrupty protection

Shares in Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) were 1.5% weaker yesterday, as the company stated JMEX BV plans to sell its approximately 16% stake in the company through a secondary share offering in Mexico and internationally. The share equates to approximately 43.6 million B shares. All proceeds from the sale will go to JMEX, an investment vehicle controlled by MAp Airports International Ltd. Shares in MAp, meanwhile, increased 2.3%.

Also in South America, shares in GAP were also weaker, down 0.7%, with shares in OMA 0.4% weaker.

It was a tumultuous day for Mexico's aviation sector yesterday, with the country’s largest carrier, Compania Mexicana de Aviacion (Mexicana), filing for protection from creditors in Mexico and the US, after failing to reach cost-saving agreements with labour unions.

The carrier’s filing in the US also cited a rise in jet fuel prices, the 2009 swine flu epidemic and the worldwide recession as contributing factors. The carrier is also facing competition from LCC operations, such as Volaris and InterJet.

The Chapter 15 petition in New York lists more than USD500 million in assets and USD1 billion in debt, and seeks protection in the US as the 87-year old company undergoes restructuring efforts.  The carrier added that operates will not affect flights or operations, with Grupo Mexicana de Aviacion’s low cost division, Click and Link, not included in the filing.

Kansas City Airport bonds downgraded by Fitch Ratings

In North Americas, Fitch Ratings downgraded Kansas City, Missouri's approximately USD176.3 million in senior lien Kansas City International Airport revenue bonds from A+ to A and approximately USD47.6 million in subordinate lien airport revenue bonds from A to A-. Fitch also affirmed the city's approximately USD108.5 million in passenger facility charge (PFC) revenues bonds at A. The rating outlook on all the bonds is “stable”.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 03-Aug-2010