HK firm mulled as LRT-1 operator
May 30, 2012 at 10:47
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is in talks with Hong Kong’s MTR Corp. along with other foreign firms as it prepares to bid for the expansion and management of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1).
MPIC, through its partnership with Ayala Corp., needs to bring in a foreign partner for technical expertise, an official yesterday reiterated.
“We are talking to various groups, not just Korean and Japanese, but also those in United Kingdom and Spain, and Hong Kong’s MTR [Corp.],” Jose Mari K. Lim, chief executive officer, told reporters in a chance interview.
MTR is the listed firm behind the operation of Hong Kong’s rail transportation system. The company claims on its Web site to be serving four million passengers a day.
MPIC and Ayala last month formed a consortium that will “jointly develop rail projects” offered by the government.
The two companies claimed that they have a combined capitalization of P300 billion.
The joint venture will cover all rail-related projects under the public partnership program, with the LRT-1 expansion having been described a priority as its auction is the “most imminent.”
Transportation Secretary Manuel A. Roxas had said the government will bid out the P30-billion operation and management of the 20.7-kilometer (km.) LRT-1, which will be extended by an additional 11.7 km. to Bacoor, Cavite.
MPIC is a unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., which partly owns Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT). Mediaquest Holdings, Inc. of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.
In a separate development, listed IT firm Touch Solution said it has entered into a joint venture with four Chinese companies to bid for the Transportation department’s “Pilot Testing for Ticketing System of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3),” which will involve the replacement of MRT-3’s magnetic tickets.
The joint venture vehicle will be named “E-Trans Solution, Inc.,” which is 20% owned by Touch Solution; 40% controlled by Jemeryk Portal System Integration, Inc.; 20% held by GaoXin Modern Intelligent System Co. Ltd.; and 10% each by Telefonicka, Inc. and Secur Links Network and Technologies, Inc.
By: Cliff Harvey C. Venzon
Source: BusinessWorld, May 29, 2012
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