China may be set to make its first high-speed train orders in more than a year following a deadly crash, according to several analysts. It's wasn't just the crash, it's a mountain of debt the Rail Ministry is buried in. Of late, pressures have eased, and the ministry may have a better time trying to issue bonds. Is the news already priced into Hollysys (HOLI)?
A 1K foot collapsed section of high-speed rail track amidst heavy rains in China throws more concern onto the quality of the system's construction. At issue is the base material used in construction, not the first time this has been a concern. Rail stocks in Shangahai/Hong Kong: China Railway Group (CRWOY.PK) -5.4%, China Railway Construction (CWYCF.PK) -7.3%.
China delivers its report on its high-speed rails following July's deadly crash, saying the system was built with faulty equipment, poorly managed, and plagued with corruption. Safety concerns combined with overwhelming debt have led China to put the brakes on a system in which it was spending $45M/day in recent years.
A peek into the Chinese miracle: The Rail Ministry is investigating allegations of safety flaws on a bridge in Jilin province after the job was subcontracted to a man and dozens of migrant workers who had no bridge-building experience. Among the concerns is that gravel was used for the pier foundations instead of concrete.
Construction is coming to a halt on thousands of miles of railways in China as funding to the highly leveraged industry dries up. The crunch comes as a result of the deadly July crash and worries about the rails' heavy debt load. "We are having trouble paying wages ... as well as (our material) suppliers," says an industry executive. (previous)
China steps in again to assist its drowning-in-debt Railway Ministry, upgrading its bonds to government-backed (from corporate debt). One trader says the move could lower the ministry's financing costs by 50 basis points. A source says banks are also being "encouraged" to keep the lending spigots to the ministry open.
China suspends more than 80% of existing railroad construction projects in the wake of July's fatal high-speed rail crash and last week's collision on Shanghai's line. Safety is an obvious concern, but the alarming debt load of the Railway Ministry weighs as well. "Almost all banks have stopped lending for railway construction," according to a source.
Chinese stocks plummet - the Shanghai composite -3% - in wake of the train crash leading to questions about the safety of the high-speed-rail system. China Railway (CRWOY.PK) -6.7%, China Railway Construction (CWYCF.PK) -6.7%. Chinese airline stocks soar. Air China (AIRYY.PK) +3.6%.