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GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES NEXT STAGE OF FINANCING OF GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED DEBT FOR CTRL

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The DETR will this week be inviting, on behalf of London & ...
The DETR will this week be inviting, on behalf of London &

Continental Railways Limited (LCR), up to nine leading international

banks to submit proposals to arrange and manage Eurosterling bond

issues to finance government guaranteed debt for the Channel Tunnel

Rail Link (CTRL).

This decision follows an evaluation of the feedback received from the

markets. The bonds will be issued by a subsidiary of LCR and will be

unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by HM Government.

The issue of Government Guaranteed Bonds (GGBs) is governed by the

timetable for the CTRL project. To allow time to complete the

necessary conditions it is likely that the GGBs will be issued in

January 1999.

NOTES

1. On 3 June 1998, HM Government agreed to guarantee up to£3.75bn

of debt, comprising a maximum of£2.65bn to be raised for Section I

(the link between the Channel Tunnel and the existing line to London

Waterloo) and a further maximum of£1.1bn for Section II (completion

of the link from North Kent to London St Pancras).

2. On 21 July, the DETR announced that J. Henry Schroder & Co. Limited (Schroders), the DETR's financial advisers for the CTRL, would be consulting the financial markets on the financing of up to£2.65bn of Government guaranteed debt.

On 10 September, Schroders gave presentations to key market

participants including Gilt Edged Market Makers, investment banks and

investors on the nature of the debt instrument and possible options

for the sale process.

3. The invitation to tender to submit offers for appointment as lead

manager for the Eurosterling bond issues is for funding required for

Section I of the project.

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