Chinese consortium in Malaysia to lobby for multi-billion rail project

(From Caixin Online)

State-backed team is offering financing options that sources say give it an edge over main Japanese rival

By staff reporter Lu Bingyang and Singapore correspondent Chen Lixiong

A group led by the national railway operator China Railway Corp. (CRC) is pushing for a high-speed rail project linking Singapore and Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, people with knowledge of the situation said.

China high-speed rail train

China high-speed rail train

The team led by Sheng Guangzu, general manager of the CRC, includes representatives from state-owned infrastructure developer China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. (CRCC), China Railway Signal & Communication Corp and several banks, an employee of the CRC said. They left for Kuala Lumpur on May 23 to meet with Malaysian government officials to lobby for the project that involves constructing a 350-kilometer track, he said.

A Japanese consortium led by the East Japan Railway Company, known as JR East, are also bidding for the project. European companies including Germany’s Siemens and Spain’s Talgo have signaled their interest in joining the race, but sources from the Chinese side said Japan was their main rival.

The competition looked “grim” from the Japanese perspective because the Chinese were willing to offer preferential terms on loan facilities, several employees working for firms in the Japanese consortium who asked not to be named said.

Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia has told Tokyo that unless the government supported the Japanese consortium to offer more attractive funding options they would lose the tender, a Japanese source said. Read more



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China, Japan, Southeast Asia

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