CORRECTED-Peru, BlackRock in talks on infrastructure financing
(Corrects paragraph 7 to million instead of billion)
LIMA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Peru is in talks with BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, about obtaining infrastructure financing, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said Monday after meeting with the company's chief executive officer Larry Fink.
In comments by phone to local TV channel Latina, Kuczynski said he was taking advantage of his stay in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly this week to promote infrastructure projects that his government wants to push out.
"Right now I'm sitting with Mr. Fink, the head of BlackRock," Kuczynski said. "They're interested in doing financing in Peru on infrastructure, and I'm in talks with them about that."
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former Wall Street banker who narrowly won June's presidential election, did not mention any project in particular and stressed that contracts would be awarded through competitive auctions.
BlackRock representatives had no immediate comment. The New York-based company has about $5 trillion under management and has said it is eager to grow in places like Peru.
Kuczynski's comments come as his government aims to halve the country's $69 billion infrastructure funding shortfall by the end of his five-year term and BlackRock prepares to launch a private equity infrastructure fund in Latin America this year.
BlackRock reported $752 million in assets under management for Latin America infrastructure equity investments and had 26 dedicated employees to the effort as of March 31.
Global mineral exporter Peru is one of Latin America's fastest-growing economies, with gross domestic product expected to expand by about 4 percent this year. But roads, sewage treatment plants and other basic infrastructure are lacking in scores of districts. Continuación...