State Must Take Dominant Share in State-owned Banks Reform

The reform of China's state-owned commercial banks must ensure that the state takes a dominant share to control the economic lifeline and guard against financial risks, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday.

The state should also strengthen management of the banks in the whole reform process and improve their internal control mechanism and supervision system to prevent the erosion of state-owned assets, Wen said at a press conference at the end of the national legislature's annual session.

"The goal of reforming the state-owned commercial banks is to establish a modern commercial banking system," the premier reiterated, adding that the sharing-holding system is an effective way in realizing public ownership.

He said the adoption of the share-holding system is to improve the corporate governance structure, to learn and draw upon the advanced managerial expertise, so as to improve the management and efficiency of state-owned commercial banks.

Noting China has scored "some achievements" in the reform of state-owned commercial banks, the premier said, "we will continue the reform and come up with the experience to prevent losses, particularly major losses."

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2006)

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