Rail Merger Ordinance Commencement Notice to be submitted to Legco

The Government had decided to implement the rail merger on December 2, a spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau announced today (October 18).

"The Secretary for Transport and Housing will publish a notice in the Gazette next Friday (October 26) to designate December 2 as the Merger Date under Section 2 of the Rail Merger Ordinance. The rail merger will come into effect on the same date," the spokesman said.

"The Government will submit the Commencement Notice of the Rail Merger Ordinance to the Legislative Council on October 31. The notice is a subsidiary legislation subject to negative vetting by the Legislative Council," he said.

"The two railway companies are making final preparations for the rail merger and will announce in due course the arrangements on the Merger Date."

The minority shareholders of the MTR Corporation Limited voted in favour of the merger proposal at the Extraordinary General Meeting on October 9. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation has also obtained its bondholders' consent in connection with the rail merger earlier this week.

The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, earlier said that the rail merger would bring overall benefits to the community and 2.8 million daily rail passenger trips would benefit from a fare reduction from day one of the rail merger.

Ends/Thursday, October 18, 2007