Ping An Insurance will lead a consortium of insurance companies to invest more than US$2 billion in a high-speed railway line connecting Shanghai and Beijing, the Financial Times reported. The consortium, which includes Italy’s Generali and five large Chinese firms, will take a stake of close to 14% in the company that will build the line. Construction will run from this month through to 2013 at a cost of US$30 billion. The Ping An-led consortium will be the second-largest shareholder after the Ministry of Railways, which will have a 78.9% stake. The other members of the consortium are PICC Property and Casualty, Taikang Life, Tai Ping Life, China Reinsurance and China Pacific Insurance. The line will measure 1,318 kilometers and will allow trains to travel at up to 350 km an hour, halving travel time to five hours.