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Japan's Sumitomo buys 20% stake in Philippine railway for $60m

Trading house aims to ease Manila traffic jams, with more lines expected

A train on Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 1. Sumitomo hopes to improve the safety and convenience of the line, also known as LRT-1. (Photo courtesy of Sumitomo)

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. has taken a 19.2% interest in a Philippine rail operator for 6.3 billion yen ($58.5 million), drawn by the prospect of new construction to relieve congestion in the Southeast Asian nation's capital.

Sumitomo said Friday it had invested in Light Rail Manila, which operates and maintains a 20 km line connecting the cities of Quezon and Pasay in Metro Manila.

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