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China to take substantial steps in mixed-ownership reform

Updated: Dec 16,2016 8:42 PM     Xinhua

China will take substantial steps in mixed-ownership reform in electricity, oil, natural gas, railways, civil aviation, telecommunications and military industries, said a statement issued on Dec 16 after the Central Economic Work Conference.

The three-day conference, which was concluded on Dec 16, saw leaders and officials sketch out economic policies and priorities for the next year.

Mixed-ownership reform, conducted through diversifying the shareholding structure of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), is an ice breaker for overall SOE reform, said the statement.

The conference called for strengthening reform of SOEs and State-owned assets and speeding up the creation of a flexible and efficient market-oriented operation mechanism.

Pilot reforms for State-owned asset investment companies, designed to make the “state” a stake-holder instead of an SOE manager, will raise management and operational efficiency, said the document.

Guidelines on SOE reform were issued in September last year, promising mixed-ownership pilots, opening up more industries to private capital, and a modern enterprise system.

Results of the reform are emerging. Combined SOE profits returned to growth in October after dropping since the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Finance said. In the first ten months, SOEs made a combined profit of 1.92 trillion yuan ($276 billion).

China has about 150,000 SOEs, holding more than 100 trillion yuan in assets and employing over 30 million people.