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CSR Falls in Hong Kong After Rail Review Report

CSR Corp., a Beijing-based railcar maker, fell the most in more than 14 months in Hong Kong trading after the Financial Times reported that China was reviewing plans to expand its high-speed rail network.

The shares dropped 6.6 percent, the biggest decline since Aug. 17, 2009, to HK$9.02 at the 4 p.m. close in Hong Kong.

China’s Ministry of Railways is reviewing high-speed rail proposals after a report by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to the State Council raised questions about their practicality and affordability, the Financial Times said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has seen the report and asked for further talks on the project, according to the report.

The rail ministry declined to comment by phone today.

China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, said in July it needed about 800 billion yuan ($120 billion) to complete high-speed rail projects as the country invests in train services to pare pollution and travel times.

The country plans to increase high-speed railroads to 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) by the end of 2012 and to 18,000 kilometers by 2020 from the current 3,676 kilometers, according to Citigroup Inc. analyst Zhen Ni.

A 1,318-kilometer rapid railroad linking Beijing and Shanghai, due to open in 2012, will cut journey times to about four hours from 10 hours, according to the rail ministry.

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