China: On January 30 the World Bank approved a US$200m loan towards doubletracking and partial realignment of the Lupanshui – Zhanyi section of the Guiyang to Kunming railway. This will increase capacity to accommodate growing business from western China.

Europe: Eurofima reported a net profit of SFr45·4m in 2006, down 4% on 2005. Cashflow fell 6% to SFr46·7m. The value of new railway equipment financed fell from SFr3·8bn to SFr2·3bn, while total assets were up 2·5% to SFr34·3bn with the financing of 348 new locos, 299 multipleunits and 1 387 passenger cars during the year.

France: Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking has been selected to provide finance for the €80m acquisition of five TER-2N NG and six AGC EMUs by the Centre region for SNCF TER services on the Paris – Chartres and Tours – Vierzon routes. The region is to lease the trains over a 35- year term and save some €4m compared to borrowing.

Russia: Under a programme launched in July 2002, RZD has allocated 1bn roubles for 1 067 to 1 520 mm gauge conversion work in Sakhalin during 2007. Two cut-offs and five new bridges will be opened this year.

Vietnam: On February 8 the French Development Agency signed three 20-year soft loans totalling €123m to fund the proposed urban railway between Nhón in Tu Liem and central Hanoi (RG 2.07 p57), as well as upgrading of the DSVN line from the capital to Lao Cai and flood prevention works in Ho Chin Minh City.