China to unveil central SOE mixed-ownership reform plans

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-12 15:33:55|Editor: Xiang Bo
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BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) -- China is expected to unveil pilot mixed-ownership reform schemes for the first group of central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) soon amid efforts to invigorate its torpid SOEs.

The country is also preparing for a second round of pilot programs to begin later this year in more sectors, according to the Xinhua-run China Securities Journal.

State-owned telecom firm China Unicom is expected to incorporate private shareholders including local Internet giants via a secondary public offering.

Trading of the company's Shanghai-listed shares remained halted Wednesday as it "deliberates on major issues," according to a statement from China Unicom, which announced on April 5 that it was preparing for a mixed-ownership revamp.

An annual general meeting of shareholders scheduled for May 10 is likely to announce the reform plan allowing for cross-shareholding between the operator and Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

Introducing the Internet trio and other powerful shareholders will offer China Unicom more marketing resources and promote its business operations, according to BOC International.

The first pilot reform scheme also includes China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Power Grid, Harbin Electric Corporation, China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.

There are thousands of SOEs in China and they form the backbone of economic growth. But their monopolies in many sectors shut out smaller market entities and lead to low efficiency and poor service.

China has banked on mixed-ownership reform of SOEs to shore up their performance. A special meeting by China's top economic planner has called for fast and substantive progress in the SOE-dominated sectors of electricity, oil, natural gas, railway, civil aviation, telecommunication and military industry.

Reform plans should be submitted before the end of June and be implemented in the latter half of this year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.