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Consortium Wins Bid for National Stadium

A consortium led by the China International Trust and Investment Corp (CITIC) won an ownership tender on Saturday for the National Stadium, the main stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The consortium will raise the funding for 42 per cent of the stadium's 3.5 billion-yuan (US$423 million) cost.

The remaining 58 per cent, funded by the Beijing municipal government, has been entrusted to the Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co as the city government's representative.

The CITIC consortium comprises the CITIC Group, the Beijing Urban Construction Group, the Golden State Holding Group of the United States, and the CITIC Group affiliate Guoan Elstrong.

The signing ceremony for the deal was held on Saturday in Beijing. It is the first ownership tender for a venue for the 2008 Games.

Bidding for the National Stadium lasted for nine months and was overseen by the Supervisory Committee for the XXIX Olympiad to ensure openness and fair play.

The CITIC consortium and the Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co will jointly set up a company to work on the stadium project.

The project company will acquire a 30-year right to operate the National Stadium after the 2008 Games.

Besides financing part of the stadium, the CITIC consortium is also responsible for the construction and operation of the project.

Liu Jingmin, vice-mayor of Beijing and vice-chairman of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, told Saturday's signing ceremony: "This is good progress in the reform of the investment and financing system in Beijing."

The Beijing municipal government has decided to make the financing of the Games market-oriented through ownership tenders in an attempt to give full play to investment and the post-Games utilization of the facilities, according to sources with the Beijing Development Planning Commission, which organized the bidding.

Bidding is under way for another seven Olympic venues and facilities, including the Olympic Village, the National Swimming Center and the Wukesong Cultural and Sports Center. The tenders will be allocated by October, Liu Zhi, the commission's deputy director, told China Daily.

(China Daily August 11, 2003)

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