Latin America's construction companies.

Author:Ogier, Thierry
Position:Editor's Choice: THE BEST OF LATIN AMERICA: CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
 
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The lack of infrastructure has a negative impact on logistics, and in turn, impedes economic development in the region. Three construction companies are helping bridge the infrastructure gap.

New infrastructure financing has opened new avenues for regional engineering firms, with a myriad of opportunities across Latin America. In Brazil, Odebrecht has registered a 13.8 percent increase in sales last year at $11.9 billion (32.3 billion reais) and registered the 10th largest net income among local companies with $0.7 billion (1.7 billion reais). The company, which was founded at the end of World War II, started its international expansion in the late 1970s and entered the U.S. market in 1990. Its projects range from a Miami airport terminal to the Panama Metro and a new $4 billion southern gas pipeline in Pent. It also recently completed the Mariel port in Cuba and a strategic shipyard to build submarines. At home, the company has been investigated in connection with the Petrobras corruption scandal (including oil rig contracts), but unlike other leading construction firms, none of its executives has been charged.

Up North, ICA and Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina (Ideal) are two leading contenders in Mexico. Ideal, which is owned by the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is a spin-off from Grupo Financiero Inbursa. The group says it...

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