BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Debt-to-equity swap deals worth 2.3 trillion yuan (333.8 billion U.S. dollars) were signed as of the end of April, official data showed Wednesday.
Debt-to-equity swap programs worth 909.5 billion yuan have been implemented, Lian Weiliang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference.
The programs covered 26 industries including steel, coal and transport, Lian said.
A total of 19 of China's centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have signed debt-to-equity swap deals worth more than 500 billion yuan, according to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).
The program, which allows creditors to exchange debt for equity stakes so that companies with long-term potential are not forced to default, has proved an effective way to cut corporate leverage and improve the capital structure of firms, said Wang Hailin, an official with SASAC.
By the end of March, China's central SOE average debt-to-assets ratio stood at 65.7 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from a year ago.