Third, investment in key industries grew steadily. As a result of work suspension amid outbreak, the fixed asset investment of centrally administered SOEs in the first quarter amounted to 364.76 billion yuan, falling 4.5% year-on-year. However, such investment grew 4.1% on a yearly basis in March, and the monthly investment had returned to a normal level.
In terms of key industries, the fixed-asset investment of central SOEs in petroleum and petrochemical, power, and telecommunications sectors surged 12.4%, 2%, and 12.3% on a yearly basis respectively in the first quarter of this year.
Fourth, the financial structure of centrally administered SOEs remained stable. By the end of March, the average asset-liability ratio of centrally administered SOEs stood at 65.6%, down 0.1 percentage points from the same period last year. The asset-liability ratio of 56 centrally administered SOEs declined yearly, and 37 companies saw a fall by at least 1 percentage point. The average ratio of interest-bearing liability was 40.3%, flat with the same period last year. The current ratio and quick ratio increased slightly year-on-year. The overall solvency of centrally administered SOEs remained stable in the first three months.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak, slumping oil prices and interest concession policies, China's central SOEs have seen a major decline in their profits for the first quarter. But despite this, it was still not easy for central SOEs to deliver such economic performance, as they have made far more efforts than usual to fight the epidemic while resuming production and promoting development.
This year will witness the last step of China's efforts to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and win victory over the battle against poverty. As we were hit by the spread of the pandemic, our tasks will be much more challenging and we still have a long way to go before achieving our social-economic development goals. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council will join hands with central SOEs to comprehensively analyze the impacts of the epidemic, withstand the pressures and further focus on our objectives and tasks. We will also implement precise policies to overcome the adverse effects of the epidemic. On the basis of implementing regular epidemic prevention and control measures, priority will be given to "three stabilities,""four guarantees" and "one strengthening."
"Three stabilities" means that we will firstly stabilize the smooth operation of central SOEs, coordinate domestic and international markets, and ensure well-organized production, transportation, sales and storage. Secondly, we will stabilize the industrial chain and give full play to the leading role of central SOEs to maintain the stability and competitiveness of China's industrial chain and supply chain through coordinating their upstream and downstream companies. Thirdly, we must stabilize enterprises. We need to guard against any risks to ensure that the state-invested enterprises, except those "zombie enterprises", do not go bankrupt, significantly cut pay or lay off employees, and do not add destabilizing factors to our society.