Strong Q1 for central SOEs as government reforms take effect

Updated 2017-04-14 09:30:44 Global Times

Centrally administered State-owned enterprises (SOEs) enjoyed growth momentum in the first quarter thanks to government reforms and a domestic economic rebound, officials said on Thursday.

Centrally administered SOEs' revenue surged 19.2 percent year-on-year to 6 trillion yuan (1.5 million), while net profits reached 226.42 billion yuan, up 26.5 percent year-on-year, according to a statement on the website of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) on Thursday.

Among the 102 centrally administered SOEs, 91 achieved revenue gains, with 54 recording growth of more than 10 percent, the statement noted.

Traditional industries such as petroleum, steel, non-ferrous metals and coal are picking up, while advanced manufacturing, medical and services have been rising steadily, "becoming the two major engines driving the country's economic growth," Shen Ying, the chief accountant of the SASAC, told a press briefing on Thursday.

The revenue figures indicate that the central government's move to reduce costs and improve efficiency has "taken effect" and China's economic environment is "stabilizing and recovering," Shen said.

"An increasing number of centrally administrated SOEs have expanded their business overseas, boosting their ability to operate according to international standards," Shen said.

But difficulties persist, such as high debt-to-asset ratios and "zombie enterprises," expert warned.

SOEs such as China Electronics, China National Building Material Group and Ansteel have signed debt-to-equity swaps with banks and financial institutions to alleviate their debt burdens, according to the statement.

Shen said that the next focus of the government's work is to complete the disposal of 3 million "zombie companies" and subsidies of SOEs and accelerate the strategic merger of centrally administered SOEs.

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