BEIJING — China’s centrally-administered State-owned enterprises (SOEs) saw a drop in their debt-asset ratio in the first half of the year due to government deleveraging efforts.
The average debt-to-asset ratio for central SOEs stood at 66 percent by the end of June, down by 0.3 percentage points compared with the beginning of the year, the State assets regulator said on July 12.
“The decline indicated a stronger ability for the companies to forestall risk,” Peng Huagang, the spokesperson of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said at a news conference.
The country’s SOE sector has become a major target of the ongoing deleveraging drive, which aims to rein in mounting debt and guard against financial risk.
As part of the deleveraging, a market-oriented debt-equity swap program was introduced, allowing companies to exchange their debt for stocks.
In the first half of the year, the value of newly-added market-oriented debt-to-equity swap projects in central SOEs reached 20.2 billion yuan ($3 billion), according to Peng.