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The Government has denied that Railtrack could have been sold at a higher price despite a fourfold increase in market value to around £8bn since its sale in 1996. The Stock Market would not 'reflect the potential fully at the time', the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions said this week in response to Public Accounts Committee criticisms.

The first of four major tunnelling contracts for the Lotschberg section of Switzerland's giant Alptransit project and has been let to a joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Swiss firms Marti Holding, Walter Gruppe and Porr. The contract is worth £108M.

Consultant Gibb has 'vehemently' denied any involvement with alleged bribes to the chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Mashupha Sole. The firm is among nine international consultants and contractors named by a magistrates court in the capital Maseru. The group includes Kier International, Bouygues, Hochtief, Stirling, Concor and Group Five.

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