Railway investment falls amid debt pressure

Updated: 2011-11-15 17:19


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BEIJING - China's railway investment in the first 10 months of this year fell sharply, as the Ministry of Railways (MOR) is facing mounting pressure to pay off creditors.

The ministry announced Tuesday that its fixed asset investments reached 429 billion yuan (about $68 billion) in the first 10 months of this year, representing a sharp decrease of 25.2 percent from a year ago.

Its infrastructure investment in the first 10 months reached 367 billion yuan, falling 28 percent year-on-year, according to data released by the ministry.

Previous data shows that the MOR's outstanding debt totaled 2.23 trillion yuan as of the end of September, creating significant pressure for the ministry, as debt payments peaked in the fourth quarter.

The ministry has resorted to issuing bonds to finance its construction projects. In its latest effort to raise capital, it auctioned 30 billion yuan in bonds on Tuesday last week.

Other figures released by the ministry showed that the nation's railways carried nearly 1.6 billion passengers in the first 10 months, 11.2 percent more than in the same period last year. Freight transportation volume, meanwhile, rose 8.1 percent to 3.27 billion metric tons.