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Company ready for bridge bid
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Infrastructure builder China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) will bid for the multibillion-dollar contract for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge.

Releasing the company's 2007 results, CCCC Chairman Zhou Jichang said preliminary work had been completed for the bid. But whether CCCC will shoulder the mega project all by itself or establish a joint venture is yet to be decided.

Upon completion, the 29.6 km bridge will link Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao to further integrate the main economies of the Pearl River Delta region by slashing travel time.

Zhou estimated that CCCC would invest 60 to 70 billion yuan in the project. "Our group will actively participate in the project no matter whether it is a joint effort or not."

Asked if CCCC's two major competitors China Railway Construction and China Railway Group will enter the bidding process, Zhou said he does not know but "will pay very close attention".

Last year, the company's net profit jumped 88.6 percent to 6 billion yuan while its revenue climbed 31.1 percent to 150 billion yuan.

The bulk of the company's revenue was generated from its infrastructure construction business, which brought in 101 billion yuan in the fiscal year ended Dec 31.

Zhou admitted that escalation in steel prices is a cause for concern. "But for the first two quarters, cost control should be effective because we procured 90 tons of steel before the price hike."

The chairman said the group would continue to check costs by establishing stringent internal controls and streamlining processes.

Looking ahead, Zhou said the company seeks to maintain a stronger foothold in markets overseas, particularly in infrastructure construction. "We will consider merger and acquisition opportunities."

He said there is no concrete plan at the moment, but that he expected the group to have a 14.3 billion yuan capital expenditure this year.

Shares of CCCC did not perform well yesterday even after the rosy financial results were announced, with its stocks falling nearly 6 percent to close at HK$17.42.

(China Daily April 10, 2008)

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