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SOEs face tougher regulations over debt

By Zhang Yue | | Updated: 2018-04-12 17:34

State-owned enterprises face stricter and more targeted regulations on debt this year and evaluation for breaching debt limits, a senior official said.

Peng Hua'gang, deputy secretary-general of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, made the remarks at a regular seminar at the Counsellors' Office of the State Council on Thursday.

He said that in 2017, under the mandate from the State Council, the SASAC had imposed stricter controls on investment by SOEs with high leverage and had established clear guidelines on debt-to-asset ratios.

A total of 17 central SOEs had signed cooperation documents on debt-equity swaps with financial organizations, Peng said.

He said that the SASAC will impose targeted regulations on different types of SOEs this year depending on their debt risk. For example, it will introduce stricter regulations on SOEs with both higher debt ratios and facing deleveraging difficulties, he said. At the same time, SOE's performance in deleveraging will be included in their company evaluations.

He also said that the pilot reform on central SOE's employee ownership, which has been conducted in 10 mixed-ownership enterprises, has seen tangible results.

By the end of 2017, he added, the ten enterprises had also successfully attracted both private and overseas capital adding up t0 1.83 billion yuan ($291 million) At the same time, employee-ownership reform is now being carried out in 126 enterprises in 21 provinces and cities across the country, Peng said.

Figures from the SASAC show that in 2017, SOEs at all levels recorded their best performance over the past five years. Total sales revenue reached over 52 trillion yuan, up 14.7 percent from a year earlier, and profits surged 23.5 percent to 2.9 trillion yuan.

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