Short line sales accelerate


first_imgCanada’s two Class I railways are pushing ahead with line sales under the terms of the Canada Transport Act.Canadian National set off a major controversy on November 15 when it announced the sale of 1300 km in northern Manitoba to Colorado-based OmniTrax. The network comprises a main route from CN at The Pas to the port of Churchill on Hudson Bay, together with branches to Flin Flon, Lynn Lake and Thompson. The Council of Canada, which promotes national interests against US economic and cultural encroachment, claimed that ’allowing vital rail lines to fall into non-Canadian hands would be one more step in the Americanisation of Canada,’ and called on the federal government to halt the sale. CN President Paul Tellier said the OmniTrax bid was stronger from both operational and financial standpoints than two Canadian offers. The deal safeguards access to the line for VIA Rail passenger services.Early in November CN sold 55 km from Hawkesbury to L’Orignal and Glen Robertson to Ontario L’Orignal Railway Inc, a RailTex subsidiary. On December 1 CN handed over the 235 km Matapédia – Chandler line to Chemin de Fer Baie des Chaleurs, a subsidiary of Québec Railway Corp. VIA Rail Canada has a six-month agreement for its thrice-weekly Montreal – Gaspé Chaleur to use the line, pending negotiation of long-term access. Canadian Pacific announced on November 22 it was to lease 616 km of its grain branches in northern North Dakota to the Northern Plains Railroad from mid-January. NPR will operate local trains to an interchange with CP at Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and maintain the track, but CP will continue to provide wagons and retain responsibility for marketing. The same day CP offered for sale its 64 km Manitouwadge branch, which connects with CP about 50 km east of Marathon, Ontario. olast_img read more

Norwegian oil fund opts for Citi as global custodian


first_imgOkan Pekin, global head of investor services for Citi, said the bank was well positioned to anticipate Norges Bank’s needs through its global presence and network.Norges Bank, which manages the funds’ global and national investments, recently announced losses from its emerging market equity portfolios.The fund, which on average owns 1.5% of listed companies and is the world’s largest single investor, also increased its holdings in Brazilian, Turkish and Mexican government bonds. Norges Bank Investment Management, manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, has selected Citi to provide it with global custody and securities lending services.The manager, which controls more than $850bn (€610bn) in global assets, said it selected Citi after a detailed evaluation of global custodians, and appreciated its sub-custodian network, which would allow it to maintain its global mandates.The bank is expected to provide the fund with solutions across its investment chain, including prime finance and agency, securities lending, futures, OTC clearing and collateral management, custody and global fund services.Age Bakker, COO at the fund, said: “Through Citi’s proprietary sub-custodian network and investment in technology, it is enabled to deliver custody services in an integrated, efficient and transparent manner.”last_img read more