Following the lead of other toll-road operators, Mexican construction conglomerate Grupo Tribasa plans to tap local investors for Ps1.94 billion (US$189 million) on May 28. In the process, the company will leave behind an ugly drama played out in the sector since the mid 90s, as a chunk of the deal will be used to retire a US$110 million 144A issued in 1993, a company source said.

For Mexican toll-road bonds, the financial fallout from the Tequila crisis in late 1994 was downright vertiginous. A mega-devaluation of the peso and a sharp slowdown in vehicular traffic provoked defaults of dollar paper issued by the sector during the early 90s and U.S. investors took a nasty hit. Since then, highway bonds have come back, but only in the domestic market.

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