SHANGHAI, March 6 State-owned China Railway
Corporation plans to seek private investment for a railway
development fund that could be launched this year, the Shanghai
Securities News reported on Thursday.
The move comes as the Chinese government has vowed to deepen
reforms of its state-owned enterprises and to open up protected
industries such as finance, petroleum, power, telecom and
railway, to private investors for the first time.
Details of the investment fund are still being formulated
and a framework may be established by the first half of this
year, Peng Kaizhou, deputy general manager of the company was
quoted as saying.
Peng said the company was considering setting up a national
rail development fund, with a fixed rate of return, or
establishing an investment fund for specific projects.
China has pledged to speed up railway investment to help
shore up the slowing economy. China Railway Corporation, set up
in March to take over the defunct railway ministry's businesses,
will spend over $100 billion on more than 6,600 km (4,100
miles) of new railway lines this year, the state news agency
said in January.
The China Railways report comes a day after China National
Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country's largest energy
group, said it planned to open six business areas to private
investors. Two weeks ago, peer Sinopec Corp opened up
its retail oil business to non-state partners.
(Reporting by Fayen Wong; Editing by Miral Fahmy)