China Railways Construction Corp, which builds train lines, highways and airports, plans to raise up to US$2 billion from an initial public offering in Hong Kong, market sources said. The deal was not expected until early next year due to the extensive restructuring the company would have to go through to prepare for a listing, a source said. The company, which ranks 485 on Fortune magazine's list of the 500 largest companies in the world, earned 116 billion yuan in 2005, up 27 per cent from 2004. It had assets of 82 billion yuan at the end of 2005, according to its website. 'More and more of these types of infrastructure companies want to sell shares because of the success of China Communications Construction,' said Francis Lun, the general manager of Fulbright Securities. China Communications, the nation's largest port builder, last month raised US$2 billion from its share offering. Its shares have risen 80 per cent since then and yesterday ended at HK$8.29. They trade at 17.6 times estimated earnings for this year. 'Under the 11th five-year plan, Beijing will budget more than one trillion yuan to build more railroads so that's a warranty that [China Railways] will get construction business,' Phillips Securities director Louis Wong Wai-kit said. The railroad investment represents about 30 per cent of the more than three trillion yuan Beijing intends to channel into infrastructure building including ports, highways, bridges and railways as part of the plan. China Railways operates more than 30 subsidiaries across the country, from China Railway Kunming Large Machinery in the southwest to Beijing Railway Construction Industrial and Trade Corp in the north. It maintains 20 offices overseas, mostly in Asia and Africa. China Railways and subsidiary China Civil Engineering Construction won the right to build an US$8.3 billion railway in Nigeria in November last year. The 1,315km of track will connect Lagos to the capital of Abuja and the project is expected to be completed in 2009. The company in May last year also won the contract to build a US$7 billion highway in Algeria, the largest overseas building project secured by a Chinese company.