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"largest IPO so far this year"

China Railway's Dual IPO Raises $5.4B

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/5597771.html

© 2008 The Associated Press

HONG KONG — State-owned railroad builder China Railway Construction Corp. priced its Hong Kong initial public offering at the top end of the indicative range Thursday, according to a media report, raising $5.4 billion along with a dual Shanghai share offering to make the world's biggest IPO so far this year.

China Railway Construction raised $2.33 billion in Hong Kong from the sale of 1.7 billion shares at 10.70 Hong Kong dollars ($1.37) each, a person familiar with the deal told Dow Jones Newswires.

It had set an indicative price range of HK$9.93 ($1.28) to HK$10.70 ($1.37) a share.

The retail offering of the Hong Kong IPO was 291 times oversubscribed, tying up more than a record of $60 billion from investors in Hong Kong while the institutional tranche was 80 times oversubscribed, the person said.

China Railway Construction is scheduled to list in Hong Kong on March 13.

The railroad builder had already sold 2.45 billion A shares in its Shanghai IPO at 9.08 yuan ($1.28) each, also the top of the indicative range, to raise 22.25 billion yuan, or $3.13 billion. The company is planning to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on March 10.

Nine strategic investors subscribed to $450 million worth of the Hong Kong shares, or $50 million each.

Those investors include Singapore's Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., Yale University, Citic Pacific Ltd., Bank of China Investment Management Co. and China Life Insurance (Group) Co.

China Railway Construction earlier said it would use 80 percent of the funds raised in the Hong Kong offering for equipment purchases, with the remainder to be used for construction of a cement plant in Nigeria and for working capital.
 

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Five-star Beijing-Tibet train to run after Games
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2008-03-10 15:42




BEIJING -- Luxury passenger train service from Beijing to the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region will be launched on Sept. 1, the operator said on Sunday.

The interior of the train will be decorated according to the standards of a five-star hotel, making it the most luxurious train in the world, said Zhu Mingrui, general manager of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Corporation (QTRC).

"Such a train can only seat 96 passengers. The fare would be about 20 times the normal price and also much more than an airline ticket," he said.

Online ticket sales have begun for domestic and overseas tourists, who will enjoy the unique scenery of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, he said.

Earlier reports said that the project, approved by the Ministry of Railways in November, will be operated by a joint venture between Rail Partners, a subsidiary of the Shanghai-based investment company of TZG Partners, and the QTRC. It has attracted an investment of US$52.9 million from Hong Kong's Wing On Travel (Holdings) Limited.

There will be three trains, which will head from Beijing to Tibet's capital, Lhasa, every eight days. The luxury journey will take five days.

Each train will have 12 passenger cars, two dining cars and a sight-seeing car. Each passenger car will have four ten-square-meter suites featuring a double bed, a living room and bathing facilities.

"All sewage and garbage on the trains will be collected and properly disposed of; thus, they will not damage the environment of the plateau," Ben Tsen, managing director of TZG Partners, has said.

The 1,956-km Qinghai-Tibet line, running from Xi'ning, capital of northwest Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, started operation in July 2006, ending Tibet's history without railways.


http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/olympics/2008-03/10/content_6523659.htm
 

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New technology saves Qinghai-Tibet Railway
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2008-03-10 20:55


XINING -- China has developed an advanced sand-solidifying technology, which will be used along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to save the highest railway in the world from the ravages of the desert.

The development, named "OH sand-solidifying and foliage-planting technology", is being experimented on in Qinghai, a seriously sand eroded province in northwest China, a local scientist said on Monday.

"The main part of the technological development is a special kind of sand-solidifying drug," said Li Runjie, chief of the project under the Qinghai Provincial Water Conservancy and Hydropower Scientific Research Institute.

According to the experiment, after sowing grass seeds, pouring water and fertilizer into a plot of sand, the treatment was sprayed on the sand surface. In one to two hours, the sand became solid. Grass grew out of the solidified sand in about 15 days.

"The chemical treatment, which is able to solidify the sand into a rubber-like solid earth, has no poisonous or harmful elements," the expert said.

"The solidified sand can hold water, thus efficiently preventing evaporation," he said

According to Li, the experimental test has been conducted at the origin of the Yellow River in Qinghai since May last year.

"We have also tested the development in some areas along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway," he said, adding that it successfully solidified the flowing sand that was threatening the railway.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, running 1,956 kilometers from Xining city in Qinghai province to Lhasa in Tibet, has 960 km of the track at 4,000 meters above sea level and the highest point at 5,072 meters. It was officially put into operation in July 2006. It is the highest railway in the world and ended Tibet's history without a railway.

Soils around the Qinghai-Tibet Railway have been turning into desert because of dry temperatures and strong winds, threatening the safety of the trains.

Chinese scientists have tried to prevent the soil along the railway from the danger of becoming a desert since the late 1980s, when the railway was in the design stage.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-03/10/content_6523962.htm
 

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High-speed rail to cross Taiwan Strait?

SHANGHAI, China, Chinese media in January reported an ambitious plan to link mainland China and Taiwan by high-speed railway. It is the latest in a series of proposals to physically link the island with the mainland. The plan does not address the political obstacles -- presumably these will be dealt with on a parallel track while the railway is under construction.

The new initiative was exposed in a protocol signed between China's Ministry of Railways and the government of Fujian province. According to the signed protocol, the project is to get underway in 2008, with 1,900 kilometers of railway lines in place by 2020.

Much of this construction will take place within Fujian province, which lies along the Taiwan Strait facing Taiwan. Railway lines will connect the province's major cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou with one another, then head inland to the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan, A separate line will head to Guangdong province and the special economic zone of Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong.

When this high-speed railway project is finished, the whole of Fujian province will be conveniently connected to central and western China, as well as to the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas. It is expected to facilitate trade across southern China and to bring considerable economic benefit to Fujian.

The map of the planned railway includes an eventual extension to Taipei. If realized, it would enable Taiwanese travelers and business people to board a train in Taipei that would carry them as far as Beijing or Kunming.

The construction of the high-speed railway is not the first such initiative designed to cross the Taiwan Strait. In 2004 the Ministry of Communications published a plan for an express highway between Beijing and Taipei, to be completed by 2030. The Taiwan Strait would be crossed by an undersea tunnel.

The country's first undersea tunnel, nine kilometers in length, is currently being built in the coastal city of Xiamen, across the strait from Taiwan. The tunnel, which delves six kilometers below sea level, has been under construction since 2005 and is due for completion in 2010.

A tunnel bridging the Taiwan Strait would be much more ambitious, as it would have to traverse 150 kilometers.

In 2005 the government announced plans for five major undersea tunnels to be built in the next 20 to 30 years, including the one linking the mainland with Taiwan. The other four would connect Hong Kong with Macau or Zhuhai, Dalian withYantai, Shanghai with Ningbo, and Hainan Island with the mainland.

Political issues aside, China is planning its infrastructure development for the long term. It is hoping that continued economic development will lure the Taiwanese into an ever-closer economic relationship, leading eventually to reunification.

Since China initiated its open door policy in the late 1970s, the mainland and Taiwan economies have become increasingly interdependent. After both of them joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, economic ties have strengthened further.

However, despite closer economic engagement, political relations between Taiwan and the mainland have become increasingly strained, especially since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power in 2000. Led by Chen Shui-bian, Taiwanese politicians have advocated an independent "Taiwan Republic," thereby challenging China's ambitions for reunification.

China has consistently proposed closer economic and transport links as a strategy to hold off Taiwan's moves toward independence. The railway and tunnel construction plans are merely an extension of this strategy -- and are based on the presumption of success.

China has effectively used its international influence to isolate Taiwan politically -- only 23 states now recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation thanks to China's aggressive diplomacy and insistence on a "one China" policy in all major international bodies. At the same time China has been equally aggressive in engaging Taiwan economically. In this carrot-and-stick approach, the high-speed railway is one of the carrots on offer.

Many Taiwanese, especially businessmen, oppose the DPP administration's policies and hope for better relations with the mainland. The growing dissatisfaction with the DPP was reflected in the party's huge losses in the recent legislative elections, and the party is very likely to lose in the March "presidential" election.

Regardless of which party wins in March, the future Taiwan government will likely distance itself from the Chen administration. Both the DPP candidate and that of the opposition Kuomintang have explicitly or implicitly expressed a willingness to engage China economically, seeing this as a clear benefit for the Taiwan people. If the pro-unification KMT wins the election, it will very likely introduce new cooperative polices toward the mainland.

It may take awhile for even the KMT to agree to the high-speed railway and tunnel plans. With a target completion date of 2030, however, the plans may not be at all unrealistic.

--

http://www.upiasiaonline.com/Economics/2008/02/15/high-speed_rail_to_cross_taiwan_strait/1798/
 

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The country's first undersea tunnel, nine kilometers in length, is currently being built in the coastal city of Xiamen, across the strait from Taiwan. The tunnel, which delves six kilometers below sea level
Now that's a mistake. If it would be true, trains would ascent and descent at angle of 53 degrees, which is too steep even for cog rails (45 deg max).
 

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Beijing-Fujian high-speed railway to be built

March 11, 2008


China will build a high-speed railway linking Beijing and Fujian province in southeastern China.

The railway, designed to run at least 300 km per hour, and with a two-lane electrified standard, will start construction in 2010.

It will begin at Bengbu station of the Beijing Shangahai high-speed railway line, and continue through Hefei (Anhui province), Huangshan (Anhui province), Shangrao (Jiangxi province), Wuyishan (Fujian province), Naping (Fujian province) and Fuzhou (Fujian province).

The Ministry of Railways and the Fujian municipal government signed in Beijing “the meeting summary about driving forward a new round of railway construction in the Economic Zone on the Western Coast of the Taiwan Straits,” during the on-going Two Sessions (NPC & CPPCC sessions).

According to the meeting summary, a 4,800 km first class, international railway network will form in the economic zone within 5-10 years. The network will include the high-speed railway from Beijing to Fujian.

The new round of railway construction includes: the electrification renovation of the railway from Hengfeng (Jiangxi province) to Fuzhou (Fujian province) will start this year; the double-track railway from Ganzhou (Jiangxi province) to Longyan (Fujian province) will start construction in 2009, designed to run 200 km per hour and with a two-wire electrification standard, making it a large rail passageway from Kumming (Yunnan province) to Xiamen (Fujian province); the Nanping-Sanming-Longyan railway will be renovated to be become an important part of the Hangzhou-Guangzhou Railway, forming the fastest and most convenient passageway from the Changjiang Delta, the economic zone on the western coast of the Taiwan Straits, to the Pearl River Delta.


http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90884/6370969.html
 

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Shanghai-Hangzhou express railway to be completed before 2010
(chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2008-03-13 14:00


"We will strive to complete ahead of time the Shanghai-Shenzhen coastal express railway, which travels through Hangzhou, Ningbo and Xiamen, in tandem with the Shanghai-Hangzhou express railway," said Lu Dongfu, Vice Minister of Railways, yesterday.



The Shanghai-Hangzhou express railway project plan has been submitted to related authorities, and the project is expected to be completed during the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010), he said. "The Shanghai-Hangzhou and Hangzhou-Ningbo railways were both designed as express railways, with maximum speeds of over 250 kilometers per hour."



He added, "there are 14 railways from Japan's Tokyo to Osaka, but we have only two from Shanghai to Hangzhou and from Hangzhou to Ningbo. We should have at least 6 railways to boost economic growth."



Lu attributed the problems caused by Spring Festival travel peaks to inadequate railway capacity. "We have invested 2 trillion yuan (US$281.63 billion) to construct railways measuring over 20,000 kilometers," he said. "We will accelerate railway construction in the next five years."

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2008-03/13/content_6533823.htm
 

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^^

project was never more than a dream to begin with. Shanghai/Hangzhou doesn't have the political wrist to get the project approved.
 

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Does anyone have a reference to a web page which keeps track of all the railway construction in China?

Wikipedia is extremely frustrating as there about 10 or twelve pages which have conflicting information.
 
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