National Bank to underwrite bond for new Crete airport


National Bank of Greece (NBG) will be the sole underwriter of a 161.1 million euro ($182.7 million) bond to finance contractor GEK Terna’s participation in a Greek-Indian consortium that will build a new airport on the island of Crete, it said on Friday.

Ariadne Airport Group, a joint venture between India’s GMR Airports and Greek contractor GEK Terna, was awarded the contract for the 850-million-euro Kasteli airport project last year.

NBG, the country’s second-largest bank, said it expects the financing arrangement to be completed this year. Cash disbursements will be gradual and span up to five years as construction progresses.

The airport project needs clearance from parliament and competition authorities before construction begins.

The new facility will replace the island’s Heraklion airport which struggles to handle the 6.7 million passengers, mainly tourists, that pass through annually.