BEIJING — China’s listed centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) posted strong profits for 2017 as the country’s mixed-ownership reform has enhanced their competitiveness and improved financial performance.
Among 53 listed central state firms that have so far filed annual reports with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, 43 firms, or more than 80 percent, witnessed surging profits last year.
Xinjiang Bayi Iron and Steel Co said its net profits surged more than 30 times last year to 1.17 billion yuan ($185 million). Its operating revenue rose 69.44 percent to 16.76 billion yuan.
China United Network Communications saw its net profit jump 176.4 percent year-on-year to 430 million yuan in 2017.
The improved performance of both companies showed the positive outcomes for central state firms of China’s mixed-ownership reform.
Mixed-ownership reform, which diversifies the ownership structure of SOEs, has started to take off in recent years as SOE monopolies in many sectors shut out smaller firms and led to inefficiency and poor service.
Two rounds of pilot programs have been launched for 19 SOEs in industries ranging from electrical services to civil aviation to experiment with mixed-ownership reform.
The central government has been restructuring central SOEs to improve their efficiency and competitiveness, and the number of centrally administered SOEs has dropped to 98 from 117 five years ago.
Thanks to the reform, China’s centrally administered SOEs reported double-digit growth in business revenue and profit in the first two months of 2018.
In January and February, centrally administered SOEs made a total of 206.67 billion yuan in profits, up 22.6 percent year-on-year, official data showed.
Total revenue of central SOEs was up 10.9 percent year-on-year to 4.1 trillion yuan in the first two months.