OHL Mexico seeks new highway concessions, defends accounting

martes 26 de enero de 2016 17:41 GYT

MEXICO CITY Jan 26 (Reuters) - OHL Mexico, a unit of Spanish construction company OHL which operates various concessions in Mexico, plans to bid for new toll roads this year after that part of its business sparked a regulatory probe in 2015.

The company is looking at bidding for two highway contracts and expects to invest some 15 billion pesos ($815.22 million) on projects that are already underway, OHL Mexico Chief Executive Sergio Hidalgo told a news conference on Tuesday.

OHL Mexico is facing an investigation by Mexico's stock market regulator (CNBV) after leaked recordings released last year purportedly showed executives discussing overcharging on a government contract.

OHL Mexico will defend itself before the regulator, Hidalgo said. "The company has said that its accounting criteria are correct and in line with the law."

"We will use all our means and if necessary we will take the case to national or international courts," he added.

The guaranteed profitability clause in its highway concessions, which has been a focus of investigations, is legal, Hidalgo said.

The scandal caused OHL Mexico shares to lose more than a third last year. The stock was up 1.09 percent at 16.70 pesos in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

OHL Mexico currently runs seven highway concessions and is the main shareholder in the airport at Toluca, the capital of the State of Mexico, the region adjoining Mexico City. ($1 = 18.4000 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento Writing by Elinor Comlay; Editing by James Dalgleish)