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CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S ERIN BURNETT SITS DOWN WITH AECOM CFO MICHAEL BURKE ON CNBC'S "STREET SIGNS" TODAY

Karen Reynolds
Thursday, 13 Nov 2008 | 8:01 PM ET

WHEN: Today, Wednesday, November 12 at 2:30 PM ET

WHERE: CNBC's "Street Signs"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Aecom CFO Michael Burke, on CNBC'S "STREET SIGNS" Today.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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ERIN BURNETT: WE'RE HEARING THIS TALK OF POTENTIALLY A STIMULUS THAT WOULD INVOLVE MORE MONEY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IN THIS COUNTRY. BARACK OBAMA HAS BEEN VOCAL ABOUT ALL0CATING MONEY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE. AND CHINA CAME OUT WITH A $600 BILLION STIMULUS PLAN THAT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDES ALL SORTS OF MONEY FOR ROADS, REBUILDING AND BRIDGES. WHEN DO YOU SEE THAT MONEY?

MICHAEL BURKE: THE STIMULUS PACKAGES THAT WE'VE HEARD ABOUT JUST IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS HAVE ADDED UP TO OVER $1 TRILLION. SOME OF THOSE NUMBERS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, WE'VE HEARD NUMBERS THAT COULD BE IN THE RANGE OF $250 BILLION TO $300 BILLION. SOME OF THAT MONEY IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE TO GET INTO THE MARKETPLACE, BUT SOME RECENT TRADE GROUPS HAVE PUT FORTH NUMBERS THAT THERE ARE ABOUT $18 BILLION OF PROJECTS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE THAT ARE READY TO GO IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS.

BURNETT: SO THOSE ARE THE PROJECTS, IF YOU WERE TO PASS AN INFRASTRUCTURE STIMULUS PLAN, YOU DON'T WANT TO WAIT SIX MONTHS FOR THOSE JOBS TO START, THOSE COULD START NOW.

BURKE: THAT'S CORRECT.

BURNETT: SO HOW MUCH OF THIS IS NEW SPENDING? BECAUSE THE CHINA ANNOUNCEMENT, EVERYONE SORT OF SAID $600 BILLION IS AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY. NO ONE'S EVER SEEN A STIMULUS PLAN LIKE THIS. BUT THEN WHEN YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT, YOU COULD ACTUALLY LOOK BACK, THEY'VE ANNOUNCED ALL SORTS OF PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR INCLUDED IN THAT. SO IS IT REALLY NEW SPENDING THAT MIGHT COME TO COMPANIES LIKE YOURS?

BURKE: YES, IT IS. IF WE LOOK AT SOME STATISTICS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, FOR THE PUBLIC TYPE INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSPORTATION AND WATER TYPE INFRASTRUCTURE, THE NUMBERS THAT HAVE BEEN PROJECTED FOR FY'09 ARE IN THE RANGE OF $160 BILLION. SO WHEN YOU START LOOKING AT THE TOTAL STIMULUS PACKAGE OF WHICH $35-$70 BILLION OF THAT, COULD BE FOCUSED ON THE TRADITIONAL PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE OF TRANSPORTATION AND WATER TYPE PROJECTS, THAT IS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE OVER THE $160 BILLION NUMBER THAT I JUST MENTIONED.

BURNETT: WHAT ABOUT AROUND THE WORLD? WE TALKED ABOUT CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES AS TWO OF THE DRIVERS. I VISITED SOME OF YOUR PROJECTS IN LIBYA.I KNOW THAT VLADIMIR PUTIN IS IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT HE SAID WOULD BE $6.5 TRILLION IN SPENDING ON INFRASTRUCTURE BY 2030 THAT'S A PERFECT EXAMPLE. HE SAID THAT WHEN OIL WAS HIGHER THAN IT IS RIGHT NOW. ARE YOU SEEING A LOT OF THESE COUNTRIES THAT WERE DOING EXPANDING IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA SCALE BACK PROJECT PLANNING?

BURKE: NOT AT ALL. IN FACT, AS I KNOW YOU WERE RECENTLY IN LIBYA, I WAS THERE TWO WEEKS AGO ALSO. WE ARE MANAGING A $50 BILLION INFRASTRUCTURE FUND FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF LIBYA AND WE SEE THAT PROJECT CONTINUING TO GROW BEYOND THE INITIAL PROJECT SCOPE THAT WE'VE BEEN GRANTED. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE MIDDLE EAST IN GENERAL, THE NUMBERS THAT WE'RE SEEING COMING OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST ARE, THAT THEY EXPECT TO SPEND $1 TRILLION IN INFRASTRUCTURE IN THAT REGION OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS. AND SO WE SEE THE CORE INFRASTRUCTURE GROWING SUBSTANTIALLY. IN FACT I THINK YOU SAW THAT WE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED OUR DOHA PORT PROJECT WHERE WE'RE ASSISTING THE GOVERNMENT OF QATAR TO BUILD AN $8 BILLION PORT.

BURNETT: WHAT HAPPENS THOUGH IF, WHAT WE HEAR, THAT IN DUBAI THEY REALLY DO HAVE ISSUES WITH FINANCING, AS AN EXAMPLE. AND A LOT OF PROJECTS REALLY ARE SCALED BACK THERE. YOU MIGHT NOT SEE IT IN SISTER CITY ABU DHABI BECAUSE THEY HAVE OIL, BUT IF YOU START TO SEE THE CREDIT CRISIS SPREAD, YOU MIGHT SEE BUDGETS TIGHTEN A LITTLE BIT. IS THAT SOMETHING YOU PLAN FOR?

BURKE: YES, IT IS ERIN. WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR BUSINESS THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE EAST WE ARE VERY DIVERSIFIED. ONLY ABOUT 25% OF OUR MIDDLE EASTERN BUSINESS IS IN DUBAI, THE REST OF IT IS SPREAD THROUGH QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA AND ABU DHABI WHICH HAVE BEEN ON A SLOWER GROWTH CURVE. THE TYPE OF PROJECTS THAT MIGHT SCALE BACK WOULD BE MORE THE TRADITIONAL HOUSING TYPE DEVELOPMENT. BUT THE PURE INFRASTRUCTURE, THAT IS SO FAR BEHIND THE CURVE IN THAT REGION, WE BELIEVE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW. AND WE BELIEVE THAT REGION WILL SPEND NORTH OF $1 TRILLION OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS OF BASIC CORE INFRASTRUCTURE.

BURNETT: HOW MANY JOBS DO YOU THINK IN THE UNITED STATES MIGHT BE CREATED OVER THE NEXT SIX MONTHS THROUGH SOME SORT OF GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN?

BURKE: I'M NOT SURE OVER THE NEXT SIX MONTHS, ERIN, BUT THE TRADITIONAL STATISTICS THAT WE SEE IS THAT FOR EVERY $1 BILLION OF CONSTRUCTION SPENT, IT GENERATES ABOUT 18 TO 20,000 JOBS. SO IF YOU START TALKING ABOUT A $300 BILLION STIMULUS PACKAGE WITH $75 BIILLION OF IT FOCUSED ON INFRASTRUCTURE, THE NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED ARE VERY SIGNIFICANT. AND AS I MENTIONED, SOME OF THESE PROJECTS ARE READY TO GO. RIGHT HERE IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, THERE'S ABOUT $500 MILLION OF PROJECTS FOR MTA SUBWAY STATIONS THAT ARE READY TO GO RIGHT AWAY. AND WE BELIEVE THAT WILL HAVE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON JOBS IN THE MARKET.

BURNETT: LET'S BUILD BRIDGES IN DETROIT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MICHAEL.





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