China's Railway Ministry Is $300 Billion In Debt

china bullet train

Maybe Chinese trains don’t go as fast as promised, but they still cost quite a lot.

China’s Railway Ministry is 1.98 trillion yuan ($294.87 billion) in debt after the first quarter of this year, and its asset-liability ratio has reached 58.24 per cent.

To continue financing projects (they still have trains to buy and roads to build), the Ministry will issue bonds on July 21st. This is the third time they’ve had to issue bonds this year- the first time it raised 20 billion yuan, the second time it raised 15 billion yuan.

That’s aside from what China Daily calls “super-short-term financing bonds of 10 billion yuan” issued three times, and “mid-term notes of 20 billion yuan.” Add all that to the pack in China’s already messy bond market.

In its prospectus, the Ministry said that it would have to raise 45.5 billion yuan for fixed assets in the railway sector during 2011. But the actual figure is looking more like 1.05 trillion yuan.

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