UPDATE 1-Australia funds lead bids for $4.1 bln Port of Melbourne sale -sources
* Hastings, Macquarie, QIC lead 3 global consortia
* Victoria state plans to complete sale by end-2016
* Part of privatisations to cut debt, upgrade infrastructure
* Strong interest expected - Victoria treasurer spokesman (Adds industry context, comment from Victoria state)
By Swati Pandey
SYDNEY, April 18 (Reuters) - Three consortia of Australian and international funds have submitted bids for a 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne, Australia's biggest shipping container terminal, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The state government of Victoria aims to raise at least A$5.3 billion ($4.1 billion) before the end of 2016, as part of a broader Australian government privatisation programme to help cut debt and upgrade the country's infrastructure.
Australian bank Macquarie Group's Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets fund has teamed up with domestic infrastructure fund IFM Investors and Dutch pension fund APG in one of the bidding groups, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter was confidential.
Another joint bid was submitted by Australian fund QIC and Canada's Borealis Infrastructure Trust, the people said. A third consortium consisted of Australian fund Hastings with Kuwait's Wren House, they said. Continued...