Australia: Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd of Hong Kong is to invest A$26·5m in the Alice Springs - Darwin project, buying two tranches of floating rate loan notes issued by Asia Pacific Transport Consortium.

Brazil: Ferropar, operator of the Guarapuava - Cascavel section of Ferroeste, is planning to invest R$43m in rolling stock this year. This would include the purchase of 14 locomotives and 250 wagons.

China: Mass Transit Railway Corp of Hong Kong reported a 92% rise in net profit to HK$4·06bn for 2000, up from HK$2·12bn the previous year. This was partly due to an increase in profit from property development, up from $2·03bn to $3·38bn.

Europe: Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio has indicated that funding rules may be amended to allow the European Union to provide up to 20% of the cost of priority projects such as the new Lyon - Torino route (RG 3.00 p142), increasing the current 10% limit.

France: The government and the Bretagne region are contributing Fr22m towards a Fr27m programme to increase by 30% storage and handling capacity at the Rennes terminal of SNCF intermodal subsidiary CNC.

Hungary: MAV is to spend HF67·5bn on infrastructure projects this year, of which HF23·3bn will be from its own resources, HF27·1bn from loans and HF17·1bn from the European Union and other sources. With a 50% contribution from the EU’s IPSA programme, 380m euros is to be spent over six years on projects including upgrading from Budapest to Szob and Szolnok.

Israel: On March 7 the Ministry of Finance approved a special budget of US$55m to complete rail projects in the greater Tel Aviv area. This includes US$40m for the Ben Gurion Airport link, US$8m for the reconstruction of the Rosh Ha’Ayin - Kfar Sava line and US$2·2m for more double-deck rolling stock.

Mexico: TFM is to float shares on the Mexico City and New York exchanges, to raise funds for upgrading.

Romania: The Japanese government has agreed to lend US$221m towards the upgrading of the Bucuresti - Constantza main line. The loan is repayable over a term of 30 years, bearing interest at a rate of 2·2%.

Slovakia: ZSR expects the government to guarantee loans totalling KS10·5bn in 2001, drawn from the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and the World Bank.

Spain: The Ministry of Development has agreed to provide Pts8bn to upgrade the Lleida - Roda de Bar