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Finance January 2007

01 Jan 2007

Bangladesh: The World Bank has approved the US$40m Bangladesh Railway Reform Programmatic Development Policy Credit, a 40-year credit granted to support rail reform as part of a long-term strategic partnership between the government, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan Bank for International Co-operation.

China: On November 29 Asian Development Bank announced a US$300m loan towards the construction of a 520 km double-track railway from Taiyuan to Dingbian, 232 km of single track from Dingbian to Zhongwei, and 192 km of single track from Dingbian to Yinchuan, all of which will be electrified. Work on the US$3·75bn project began last February.

Europe: On November 24 French Transport Minister Dominique Perben and his Italian counterpart signed a formal request addressed to the European Commission for a funding contribution towards the 13·7bn Lyon - Torino high speed line.

Kenya: Standard Chartered and Barclays banks have signed a KSh1·68bn mediumterm loan with Magadi Soda Co, which plans to import 104 hopper wagons and purchase eight metre-gauge locomotives to increase capacity on its trains carrying soda ash between Magadi and Mombasa for export.

Romania: In November the World Bank approved a US$180m Transport Sector Support loan, towards a US$225m programme of rail and road maintenance and modernisation.

Vietnam: Asian Development Bank has announced a US$1·7m grant funded by the Government of Japan for the production of a mass transit master plan for Ho Chi Minh City. Work will include the completion of preliminary designs for two metro lines from Ben Thanh to Thanh Luong and Mien Tay Coach station, with a total route length of 20·6 km and 22 stations to be completed by 2020.