PM Mahathir: M'sia yet to finalise ECRL loan from China Exim Bank

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PUTRAJAYA (April 15): The Malaysian government is still in negotiations with the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) on the new loan to be taken for the planned construction of the 640km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking at press conference here today, Dr Mahathir said the loan will, however, be reduced substantially as the ECRL's cost of construction has been decreased.

"Cost has been reduced to RM44 billion, and obviously the interest rate would be based on a smaller amount of money, it is a considerable saving for us, which means interest payment far less than the original cost of (about) RM66 billion," he said, when asked about the amount of interest expected to be incurred from the new loan.

On Friday, theedgemarkets.com, quoting the Prime Minister's Office's statement, reported that Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Co Ltd signed a supplementary agreement on the ECRL project, which will proceed at a lower cost of RM44 billion compared with its original cost of RM65.5 billion.

The Prime Minister's Office said the agreement, which covers the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning aspects of the ECRL, went through after months of negotiations between the companies involved, as well as between the Malaysian and China governments.

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