China Merchants China Direct Investments (CMCDI), a closed-end investment fund in Hong Kong, and China Insurance Group Investment Co will take a combined 25 per cent stake in Zhangzhou-Zhaoan highway for US$15 million. The two companies recently signed an investment contract with Zhangzhou's commercial arm in Hong Kong, Zhang Long Industrial Co. Zhang Long would remain the largest shareholder of the toll road with 55 per cent, general manager Zhuang Daohuo said. CMCDI would buy a 16.7 per cent stake for $10 million and China Insurance 8.3 per cent for $5 million. Mr Zhuang said the annual return of the highway was expected to be about 17 per cent on a daily toll of about 220,000 yuan (about HK$204,710). The average return of China's toll-road projects ranges from 15 to 18 per cent, based on guidelines by the Ministry of Communications. Some cities say they can provide a higher return. 'Construction of the [Zhangzhou-Zhaoan] highway has largely been completed and open to traffic. We expect traffic flow to increase when the Xiamen-Zhangzhou highway is ready next year,' Mr Zhuang said. There are three toll stations on the highway. Toll stations are allowed every 40 kilometres. The 119 km highway is part of National Highway 324 which runs from Fujian province to Yunnan province. Zhangzhou's communist party deputy secretary, Tan Weike, said: 'The Zhangzhou-Zhaoan highway is one of two key road development projects which will improve transport links between Zhangzhou and the Shantou special economic zone in Guangdong.' Zhangzhou lies between Xiamen, in Fujian, and Shantou.