Czech Republic: The government has approved annual grants of KC500m for CD to renew rolling stock during 1998-2001.

France: European Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock announced on February 19 that EU contributions for TGV-Est would be limited to 2% of the total infrastructure cost. The French government had expected the EU to pay Fr2bn towards the Fr18·7bn first phase.

Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot has approved a grant of Fr25m per km towards the Fr1·2bn cost of the first 10 km section of the planned Valenciennes light rail network (RG 4.97 p171).

India: Indian Railway Finance Corp is planning to raise Rs750m by selling bonds through a private book-building placement. The 10-year bonds will carry an interest rate of 9 or 9·5%.

New Zealand: Tranz Rail announced on March 4 that it planned to buy back up to 5% of its issued shares at up to NZ$7·5, compared to the quoted price of NZ$6.

Tunisia: SNCFT has negotiated funding from the European Investment Bank and a consortium of French banks for upgrading its 180 km Tunis - Sfax - Gabes corridor.

Uzbekistan: The Asian Development Bank has agreed a credit of US$70m for the national rail network, including a series of technical assistance programmes.