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Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 14:41
China picks 31 more SOEs for third round of ownership reform
By Xinhua
Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 14:41 By Xinhua

In this undated photo, a worker prepares a steel frame for an expressway bridge in Youxian county in Hunan province of China. An official of the National Development and Reform Commission said on Nov 15, 2017 that China has included another 31 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for a pilot mixed-ownership reform program. (LI AIMIN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING – China has included another 31 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for a pilot mixed-ownership reform scheme, an official with the country's top economic planner said Wednesday.

The third round of mixed-ownership reform program will involve SOEs run by regional authorities as well as the central government, according to Meng Wei, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The pilot reform has produced results, improving the SOEs' strength and lowering their leverage. 

Meng Wei, Spokesperson, National Development and Reform Commission, China

"We are losing no time in helping the SOEs draw up reform plans," Meng said at a press conference.

READ MORE: China SOE reform set to accelerate

So far, two rounds of pilot programs have been launched for 19 SOEs in industries ranging from electrical services to civil aviation to experiment with the mixed-ownership reform, which allows private or even foreign investments in the companies.

Meng said more than two-thirds of the 19 SOEs have seen the introduction of outside investors, registration of new firms, restructuring of corporate governance and establishment of internal incentive systems.

The pilot reform has produced results, improving the SOEs' strength and lowering their leverage, she said.

The first two rounds of reform programs mainly covered central SOEs such as China Eastern Air Holding Company and China Southern Power Grid.

ALSO READ: China to advance restructuring of central SOEs

Overcapacity, poor corporate governance, and low labor productivity have dragged down profits of China's SOEs, which deteriorated in 2015.

China has launched a series of reforms to invigorate its torpid SOEs, including changing their share-holding structure, spinning off non-core assets and encouraging innovation.

The Ministry of Finance showed combined SOE profits rose 24.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of this year, quickening from the 21.7 percent expansion seen in the first eight months.

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