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China’s central SOEs report falling debt-to-asset ratio

Updated: Jan 17,2018 3:32 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s centrally administered State-owned enterprises (SOEs) reported a falling debt-to-asset ratio last year as regulators took measures to contain debt in the sector, official data showed on Jan 17.

The average debt-to-asset ratio of China’s central SOEs stood at 66.3 percent at the end of 2017, 0.4 percentage point lower than the beginning of the year, according to data from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

By 2020, SASAC aims to cut the ratio by another 2 percentage points.

As central authorities have made curbing financial risks an economic priority, SASAC has put the capital structure, financing leverage, investment and risk of central SOEs under greater scrutiny in recent years.

Earlier data showed SOEs supervised by SASAC made a total of 1.4 trillion yuan (about $218 billion) in profit, up 15.2 percent.

China currently has 98 centrally administered SOEs, down from 117 five years ago, as the central government has been restructuring central SOEs to improve their efficiency and competitiveness.

A series of reforms have changed their shareholding structure, spinning off non-core assets and encouraging innovation.