COFCO focuses on core business, furthers mixed-ownership reform

Updated 2017-11-21 14:04:12 chinadaily.com.cn
A machine is used for unloading grain at COFCO Excel Joy (Tianjin) in Tianjin, Nov 20, 2017. (Photo by Tan Xinyu/chinadaily.com.cn)

A machine is used for unloading grain at COFCO Excel Joy (Tianjin) in Tianjin, Nov 20, 2017. (Photo by Tan Xinyu/chinadaily.com.cn)

China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp (COFCO), the country's biggest food supplier by volume, plans to increase the proportion of State-owned capital involved in agriculture, grain and oil businesses to 80 percent by 2020.

Wan Zaotian, deputy Communist Party secretary and vice-president of the group, said this at a meeting Monday in Tianjin, and he added that the other businesses will operate and do financing on their own within COFCO's regulated framework.

As to the core businesses of grain, oil, sugar and cotton, their market shares are expected to account for more than 15 percent respectively, according to Wan.

The meeting comes after the 19th CPC National Congress last month, where General Secretary Xi Jinping said in the report that China will further reform State-owned enterprises, develop mixed-ownership economic entities, and turn Chinese enterprises into world-class, globally competitive firms.

As one of the six large State-owned enterprises to pilot reforms in ownership, management and supervision, the Beijing-based conglomerate has gathered pace in mixed-ownership reform by restructuring, divesting nonessential assets and pushing core assets to go public since 2016.

Earlier this month, COFCO International, the group's overseas investment and management platform, has agreed to sell the seed business of grain trader Nidera BV to agribusiness giant Syngenta AG.

Up to now, COFCO has had 14 of its specialized arms diversify their shareholding structures. And the company planned to carry out mixed-ownership reform in all of its 18 specialized arms by the end of 2018, Wan said.

In August, COFCO Capital, a financial subsidiary of COFCO, raised 6.9 billion yuan (.04 billion) from seven strategic investors, including China Structural Reform Fund Corp, Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group and Shanghai International Group, according to the official website of China Chengtong Holdings Group, a State-owned asset-operating group that partly owns China Structural Reform Fund Corp.

COFCO hopes to bring in strategic investors consistent with the group's development strategy and promotion to achieve its goals, rather than those only focusing on short-term benefits, COFCO told China Daily Website.

From January to September, COFCO's operating revenue grew 6 percent year-on-year to 344.8 billion yuan, while its total profits were up 50 percent to reach 7.81 billion yuan, Wan said, adding that profit volume for this year is expected to be 10 billion yuan.

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