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Port investor cuts investments on projects

CHINA Merchants Holdings (International) Co, the investor in ports moving a third of China's containers, expects capital expenditure to fall as much as 50 percent this year as trade wanes amid a global slowdown.

The company plans to spend between HK$2 billion (US$258 million) and HK$2.5 billion on capital projects this year, compared with HK$4 billion last year, Deputy General Manager Cynthia Wong said on Tuesday in a conference call organized by Merrill Lynch & Co.

"We will be cautious to take on new projects, but committed projects will be carried out as planned," Wong said, according to a summary of the call published by Bank of America Corp's Merrill yesterday. Spending will drop to about HK$1.5 billion next year, Bloomberg News said.

China Merchants sees container traffic to be little changed this year, versus a 7-percent rise last year, as slumps in the United States and Europe hit demand for Chinese-made goods, the Merrill summary said.


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