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Central SOEs Cut to 155
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The number of China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) affiliated to the central government, or the country's central SOEs, has dropped from 157 to 155 in a state-pushed drive to restructure and streamline the group.


China Travel Service (CTS) (Holdings) Corp. was merged into CTS (Holdings) Hong Kong Ltd., while China Textile Industrial Engineering Institute became a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, according to Friday's announcement by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).


The SASAC has planned to cut the number of major enterprises under its control from 157 to between 80 and 100 by 2010, but a SASAC research fellow Wang Zhigang said earlier the goal would be met by the end of next year.


The Chinese central government will also focus on developing 30 to 50 enterprises to better compete with foreign firms.


SASAC Director Li Rongrong said in an earlier report that the state assets agency will concentrate strategic industries like military, electric power grid, petroleum and chemical, telecommunications, coal, civil aviation and shipping industries.


The watchdog will also emphasize key companies in auto, construction, electronic information, steel and machinery manufacturing industries, Li said.


The assets regulator, set up in 2003 to take control of big state companies, has cut the number of major SOEs by promoting mergers and acquisitions and allowing poorly performing state firms to go bankrupt.


(Xinhua News Agency July 22, 2007)

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