CITIC Pacific is a Beijing-backed conglomerate with interests including trading and distribution, infrastructure, and property. Jardine Fleming Research recently put a buy on the stock citing the company's defensive earnings mix and its growing infrastructure businesses. Contribution from the company's infrastructure division should soar this year helped by the stake in CLP Holdings it bought last year and the $3 billion of new infrastructure acquisitions announced in the third quarter. Citic's mainland infrastructure projects are well structured as they are debt-free and tax-free, with US dollar payment guarantees. Citic located its projects in selected areas with robust demand. It has no power plants in southern China which has an oversupply of electricity. Infrastructure will continue to be the focus for Citic, and management emphasises the company will not go into the mainland's volatile property market despite the fact its parent has options on land banks. In Hong Kong, the company's 64 per cent-owned Eastern Harbour Crossing has recorded a 7 per cent decline in daily traffic flow since last month's toll increase, but the rise in the average toll from $12.70 to $18.70 will deliver a strongly increased contribution. Citic's management is negotiating the land premium the firm must pay to the Government for its Discovery Bay extension and, given the state of the property market, there is a good chance the premium will be reduced.