July 17, 2018 / 9:38 AM / in 9 months

China to promote SOE mergers in coal, telecom, power this year -report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will promote asset restructuring in sectors like coal, telecommunications, electric power, manufacturing and chemicals this year, state media reported on Tuesday, as it begins the latest round of its ambitious state firms’ reform program.

Regulators would continue to promote the “concentration of state-owned capital” in major strategic industries, resolve excess capacity and set up a special fund aimed at optimizing and integrating government-owned coal assets, the China Securities Journal reported.

China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by introducing private capital, curbing overcapacity, shutting down “zombie” subsidiaries and restructuring assets. It has already cut the total number of companies under central government control to 96, down from 117 in 2012.

China’s state asset regulator will also use the next round of restructuring to transform leading companies into “development platforms” for sectors like new energy vehicles, large-scale cruise ships and China’s proprietory satellite navigation technology known as “Beidou”, the paper said.

The State-Owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission would also continue to promote its “mixed ownership reform” program aimed at introducing private capital and management methods into giant central government SOEs.

China has already injected as much as 88 billion yuan ($13.18 billion) of private capital into its state firms in the first half of the year, the paper said, and the country would aim to diversify the stakeholder structures of two to three central government enterprises in the second half.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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