China: Citic Securities, Citigroup and Macquarie Bank have been appointed to advise China Railway Construction Corp on a US$2bn initial public offering planned for the end of this year.

Hungary: PricewaterhouseCoopers is to assess the assets of the passenger division of MÁV in preparation for a planned spin-off.

South Africa: Eastern Cape province has allocated R10m for upgrading of the 610?mm gauge Port Elizabeth - Avontuur line to allow regular operations to resume in 2008.

USA: In late March the FRA approved Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing loans for the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad and the RJ Corman Railroad Group. DM&E borrowed $48·3m to upgrade its 216 km right-of-way between Wall, South Dakota, and Colony, Wyoming, for heavier wagons. Shortline operator RJ Corman obtained $58·9m to rehabilitate 24 locomotives and purchase 200 centre-beam flat wagons and 100 hoppers.

Vietnam: On March 30 Japan Bank for International Co-operation signed loan agreements worth a total of ¥95bn for nine development projects in Vietnam, including the 19·7 km Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien urban railway Line 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Special financial terms reflect the use of Japanese technology for the partly-elevated, partly underground line, and work is expected to begin next year for opening in 2013.