SHANGHAI, April 22 Air China Ltd
has received the green light from Beijing
to push ahead with mixed-ownership reform of its air freight
logistics business, the firm said late on Friday, signalling a
potential shake-up of China's cargo carrier market.
In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange the carrier said
its state-owned parent, China National Aviation Holding Company
(CNAHC), had received the approval from China's top state
planner, the National Development and Reform Commission.
China's long-awaited mixed ownership reforms will allow
private capital to invest in firms run directly by the central
government, and are part of an ambitious revamp of the country's
sclerotic and debt-ridden state sector.
"CNAHC will start to push forward the mixed-ownership reform
in air freight logistics," it said, adding the move would likely
affect the listed company and some of its subsidiary firms.
Domestic media has previously reported China's top airline
freight carriers could merge to form a cargo transport giant.
An official at the Civil Aviation Administration of China
told the official Xinhua news agency in 2015 that Air China
Cargo, China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo could be
Earlier this month the news agency reported China would soon
release details of ambitious ownership reform plans at central
government-owned firms, including telecom giant China Unicom and
China Eastern Airlines.
The central government, which has made mixed ownership
reform one of its priorities, currently owns and administers 102
enterprises in sectors from nuclear technology to medicine.
This week, China's cabinet endorsed guidelines by the
country's state planner to reduce leverage in the corporate
sector and push forward with mixed-ownership reforms at
state-owned enterprises this year.
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)