Bank of China to buy into railway company for $1.5b

Bank of China (3988.HK) may invest almost 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to buy a minority stake in a railway company that is building a high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai, state media reported on Friday.

Bank of China spokesman Wang Zhaowen confirmed to Reuters that the bank intended to buy a stake in Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Corp, but described the figures in the China Daily newspaper report as “groundless”.

He declined to provide details about the investment amount or what form it would take, adding that the deal was not yet complete.

“When we have details, we will announce them,” Wang said.

China Daily earlier reported that Bank of China Group Investment Ltd, the bank’s investment arm, would acquire a near 8 percent stake in the high-Speed railway company from China Railway Investment Corp, a unit of the railway ministry, which is the majority owner of the high-speed rail company.

The Chinese government is considering floating key assets of its three major railway operators to help bankroll a massive expansion of its railway system, state media have reported.

China plans to spend an estimated 350 billion euros ($502.4 billion) on railway construction, expansion and upgrades over the next three years.

At least part of the Beijing-Shanghai express railway, a 1,318-km line between the country’s capital and its financial hub, is expected to be injected into the listing vehicle.

Source: Reuters

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