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State assets management key to SOEs’ mixed-ownership reform

Updated: Sep 14,2015 3:25 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Mixed-ownership reforms for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) should keep in mind the benefits involved with multiple investors and work to prevent the loss of state-owned assets, a senior official said on Sept 14.

Mixed-ownership reforms for SOEs should be government-led and market-based with an emphasis on improving the management of state assets, said Lian Weiliang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

China’s central authorities issued a new guideline on SOE reforms on Sept 13 as the government seeks to invigorate torpid SOEs.

The guideline encourages diversified ownership structures through “mixed ownership”, or the introduction of “multiple types of investors”.

Non-state firms will be encouraged to join the process by buying stakes and convertible bonds from or conducting share rights swaps with SOEs, among other measures, according to the guideline.

The mixed-ownership reform will promote new technology, management and business models for SOEs, Lian told a press conference held by the State Council.

In 2015, China will pilot a program that will allow more than 110 state-owned conglomerates administered by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) to invest assets and help create and operate companies, said Xu Hongcai, assistant finance minister, at the press conference.

The pilot program will be market-oriented and intervention by government agencies will be forbidden, said Xu.

Mixed-ownership reforms for SOEs are a significant part of China’s economic restructuring. The SASAC has rolled out a series of measures to hasten the process.

Giant SOEs such as China National Petroleum Co. and China Telecom have carried out their own plans to diversify corporate ownership and invited cooperation with social funds.

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