Bulgaria: On May 19 BDZ raised €30m through what Transport & Communications Minister Nikolai Vassilev described as the largest issue of corporate bonds in Bulgarian history. The proceeds will fund repairs to 3620 wagons.

China: Asian Development Bank is providing a technical assistance grant of US$400000 for a review of the impact on the rail sector of China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.

France: UK venture capital firm 3i has purchased the 53·5% stake in Keolis previously held by BNP Paribas and Vivendi Universal. SNCF Participations retains a 43·5% share.

RFF has fixed a ceiling of €13·7m for its contribution to new rail infrastructure supporting the Port 2000 expansion programme at Le Havre (RG 2.04 p82) and the associated electrification of the Motteville - Montérolier-Buchy route. These projects have been costed at €75m and €53m respectively.

Germany: DVB Bank AG’s Land Transport Division provided €800m of loans in 2003, up 15·9% on 2002. Loans drawn including guarantees and indemnities totalled €724m. The year’s 14 new transactions amounted to €229m, and the division now has 70 clients.

Serbia-Montenegro: ZTP Director General Milanko Sarancic announced in May that €130m is to be invested in reconstruction of track and rolling stock. So far €70 has been secured in loans from European banks

Zambia: RSZ has paid 4bn kwachas in fees to the government since taking over operation of the 1271 km network last December (RG 1.04 p16). RSZ is to invest US$14·7m in track improvements, US$5·7m in upgrading and refurbishing locomotives, and US$2·3m on other infrastructure work.