May 17, 2017 3:00 pm JST

MTR shares hit record high on expected Malaysia-Singapore rail bid

Hong Kong train operator set to submit a joint tender with China Railway

NORIKO OKEMOTO, NQN staff writer

An MTR train approaches a station in Hong Kong. © AP

HONG KONG -- Shares in Hong Kong's MTR Corp., an operator of underground railway systems in and outside of the territory, surged Wednesday to an all-time high on expectations that it will join a bid for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail project.

The share price at one point rallied by 1.500 Hong Kong dollars, or 3.12%, from a day earlier to HK$49.500, after extending gains for the fourth consecutive day. This shattered the previous record marked on Monday and is the highest level since the company's shares were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October 2000.

Through Tuesday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal and other local newspapers have reported that MTR chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang has expressed interest in submitting a tender for the project.

Japan is also eyeing a bid.

Ma reportedly revealed his stance during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which ran through Monday in Beijing.

The 350km railway line will link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, with travel time projected to be about 90 minutes. It is expected to open in 2026.

Bidding for the project is scheduled to start at the end of 2017, and MTR is expected to take part along with the state-owned railway operator China Railway Corp. as a team.

The two companies at the end of 2016 agreed to jointly expand their business.

Asia300

MTR Corp. Ltd.

Hong Kong

Market(Ticker): HKG(66)
Sector:
Industry:
Transportation
Railroads
Market cap(USD): 33,481.08M
Shares: 5,910.39M

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