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SOEs rise to China's reformation challenge
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Almost two-thirds of China's centrally administered state-owned enterprises and their subsidiaries have become shareholding companies after three decades of reform, the country's top state assets regulator said yesterday.

Li Rongrong, director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said 64.2 percent of the SOEs and their subsidiaries had undertaken shareholding reforms, compared with 30.4 percent in 2002.

A number of large SOEs have gone public in both domestic and foreign stock markets. Of about 1,500 listed companies in China's A-share stock markets, more than 1,100 were wholly or partly state owned, he said. Seventy-eight centrally administered SOEs were listed in Hong Kong, New York or Singapore stock markets.

Meanwhile, the country's state-owned economy was gradually converging into critical sectors that have a strong bearing on state security and the national economy.

Critical sectors such as oil, petrochemicals, power, national defense, telecommunications, transportation and mining accounted for about 83 percent of the total assets of centrally administered SOEs.

These SOE giants have shouldered almost all the production of crude oil and natural gas and provided all the basic telecommunications and 55 percent of the country's power supply, while 82 percent of civil aviation services also came from those SOEs.

With deepening reforms, the number of China's SOEs were declining, but their total assets were growing, the agency said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 26, 2008)

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