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Finance

01 Jul 2003

Australia: Queensland Rail is to spend A$20m upgrading the Rosewood - Helidon main line, and A$14m on the Toowomba - Goondiwindi route.

China: Hong Kong MTR Corp has sold HK$500m of 10-year fixed rate bonds, and KCRC is selling the retail portion of its HK$1bn debt issue, intending to raise HK$500m through five- and 10-year retail bonds.

Romania: A €24m EBRD loan has been used to modernise stations in Cluj, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi and Timisoara. Energy efficiency has been improved, and retail outlets are to be developed in the EBRD transport team's first investment in railway property rather than rolling stock or restructuring.

South Africa: R140m is to be spent on infrastructure works and rolling stock refurbishment for the 4·4 km extension of Cape Town's Khayelitsha commuter line, which Acting Transport Minister Jeff Radebe expects to be complete by December 2005.

Spain: The European Investment Bank has granted a €300m loan to GIF to finance the Madrid - Barcelona - Figueres high speed line. This is the first tranche of a €2·5bn loan approved in September 2002. EIB is also providing a €500m loan to Renfe to part-finance infrastructure upgrading and modernisation projects.

Sri Lanka: The Austrian government's export credit programme is providing €15·2m for railway bridge construction works.

Sweden: Freight operator Green Cargo reported a loss of SKr2m for the first quarter of 2003, a SKr73 improvement on the same period in 2002. Rail traffic volume was up 4%.

Ukraine: The government has approved the raising of a €120m EBRD loan to fund railway development works, including the 2 km Beskyd tunnel, new rolling stock and speed improvements on the Kyiv - L'viv route.

Uruguay: The Ministry of Transport & Public Works has been allocated an additional 432m pesos for investment in 2003, of which 93m pesos will be spent on railway infrastructure. Investment priorities at train operator AFE include purchasing 150 wagons and refurbishing an additional 600 to carry timber and containers.

Zimbabwe: Transport & Communications Minister Witness Mangwende has announced an allocation of Z$1bn for NRZ to carry out track and signalling overhaul on the Bulawayo - Victoria Falls line.