【英语中国】中国中铁称总裁“因意外逝世” China Railway hit by chief’s death

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2014-1-10 00:58

小艾摘要: Shares in China Railway Group fell more than 7 per cent yesterday after the construction company announced that its president had died in an accident, writes Tom Mitchell.While the company declined to ...
China Railway hit by chief’s death
Shares in China Railway Group fell more than 7 per cent yesterday after the construction company announced that its president had died in an accident, writes Tom Mitchell.

While the company declined to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Bai Zhongren’s death at the weekend, state media reported that the 53-year-old executive had been suffering from depression.

The company, which is listed in Hong Kong, said its operations remained normal, and that Mr Bai’s duties would be assumed by its chairman pending the appointment of an acting president.

China Railway Group has led the rollout of the country’s railway network, which was expanded rapidly in recent years as Beijing sought to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.

Last month, the opening of a new railway line in southeastern China pushed the system’s length to more than 100,000km, including more than 10,000km of high-speed routes.

The company, however, has taken on large debts to fund construction. In October it reported total debt of Rmb532bn ($88bn), compared with assets of Rmb627bn.

According to a long-awaited report released last week by China’s national auditor, debts in the railway sector exceeded Rmb2.9tn and related companies could require central government assistance if they face repayment difficulties.

China’s railway industry has been grappling with a host of safety and corruption investigations since a high-speed rail crash in July 2011 claimed the lives of 40 people and prompted the railways ministry to lower speeds on the network from 350km/h to 300km/h.

Mr Bai had not been implicated in any of the investigations.

The 2011 collision between two trains in Wenzhou, in eastern China, was blamed on a signalling failure during a lightning storm.

Liu Zhijun, railways minister at the time, was subsequently convicted of corruption and received a suspended death sentence last July. The scandal also led to the arrests of a former senior ministry engineer and a businesswoman with close ties to the ministry, which was subsequently split into an operating company and a regulator.

The crackdown on the railway sector preceded a renewed anti-corruption push sparked last year by Xi Jinping, China’s president.

中国中铁(China Railway Group)H股股价昨日下跌逾7%。该公司发布公告称,其总裁白中仁(见右图)上周末因意外死亡。

尽管中国中铁拒绝透露白中仁死亡的具体情况,但中国官方媒体报道称,这位53岁的高管此前患有抑郁症。

中国中铁表示,公司的生产经营情况正常。公司董事会在依据《公司章程》指定一名副总裁代行总裁职责之前,暂由公司董事长代行总裁职责。中国中铁在中国内地和香港两地上市。

中国中铁是中国铁路网扩建的主力。中国政府为了寻求缓冲全球金融危机的影响,近年大搞铁路建设,铁路网因此迅速扩张。

上月中国东南部一条铁路新线开通,使得中国铁路营运里程超过了10万公里,其中包括逾1万公里的高铁线路。

然而,中国中铁为铁路建设背负了巨额债务。去年10月,该公司发布公告称,其债务总额为5320亿元人民币(合880亿美元),而资产总额为6270亿元人民币。

中国审计署在上周发布的外界期待已久的报告中表示,铁路部门债务超过2.9万亿元人民币。如果相关企业出现偿债困难,中央政府可能需要出手救助。

自2011年7月发生动车组列车追尾事故以来,中国铁路业麻烦不断,受到一系列安全和腐败调查。追尾事故导致40人死亡,并促使铁道部将高铁时速从350公里降至300公里。

白中仁没有卷入上述任何调查之中。

2011年发生于中国东部温州的列车追尾事故,被归咎于雷雨天气期间信号系统出现故障。

时任中国铁道部部长刘志军后来被控犯有贪污罪,并于去年7月被判处死刑,缓期执行。此次丑闻还导致一位铁道部前高级工程师和一位与铁道部关系密切的女商人被捕。中国铁道部后来被分拆为一家营运公司和一个监管机构。

铁路部门遭到整顿的时间早于中国国家主席习近平去年发起的全面反腐努力。

译者/何黎

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