Toll-road operator Jiangsu Expressway will embark on a business expansion plan to offset the impact on earnings of the expiration of certain tax breaks. The H share will spend about 800 million yuan (HK$749.68 million) to increase its stake in Jiangyin-Yangtze Bridge and acquire shares in an expressway that will link Suzhou to Hangzhou. The company has also set up an investment firm with a start-up capital of 100 million yuan to invest in transport-related projects. Chairman Shen Changquan said the moves would sustain his company's profit growth after the partial exemption of corporate income tax expired at the end of the year. The company has been enjoying a 15 per cent rate, against the present 33 per cent. The H share also will spend about 200 million yuan to increase its stake in Jiangsu-Yangtze Bridge from 17.83 per cent to 25 per cent. The acquisition target owns and operates the steel suspension Jiangyin Yangtze Highway Bridge that allows easy access to the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway and other key highways. The toll-road operator will also spend about 600 million yuan to buy about 33 per cent of Suzhou Sujiahang Expressway. Suzhou Sujiahang's main asset is the 99.9-kilometre dual four-lane Jiangsu section of the Suzhou-Jiadiang-Hangzhou Expressway. The Jiangsu section links the cities of Changshu, Suzhou and Wujiang in eastern Jiangsu province. The whole section is under construction and calls for an investment of 4.5 billion yuan. Mr Chen said that 80 km of the section would be operational by the end of next year. The H share also intends to apply to the government for a toll rise. Toll road companies are allowed to apply every three years for toll adjustments. Jiangsu Expressway could have raised the toll last year had it not been for the deflation of the past several years. Vice-general manager Li Dapeng said the present economic trend was favourable to the toll-rise application because the country's consumer price index edged up 1 per cent in the first half.