Business / Policy Watch

Shanghai weighs in on SOE ownership reforms

By Li Yang in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-09 07:15

Shanghai is welcoming private investors to participate in a State-owned enterprise stockholding reform that it hopes will be completed within the next five years.

The municipal government unveiled its opinions - a de facto action plan - on the knotty reforms on Monday, the first of their kind among local governments and what should serve as an important reference for the central authority, many believe.

The purpose of the reform is to improve the performance by SOEs in both the marketplace and in serving the public.

Analysts believe private investors stand to benefit from the opening-up of markets that were formerly dominated by lackluster SOEs, if the government can translate its words into deeds.

Shanghai weighs in on SOE ownership reforms

Shanghai weighs in on SOE ownership reforms
China's top 10 richest cities
The Shanghai government has classified SOEs into four categories and created a different reform plan for each. Promoting mixed ownership is a direction that was decided on by the central government last year.

First, Shanghai is turning two SOEs into professional asset management firms, completely owned by the State, by diverting the rest of their business to the other SOEs.

The two firms will openly handle all affairs relating to SOE assets in the stock and property ownership markets.

The second category involves infrastructure construction and public services, and the government should be the sole owner or at least the largest shareholder in these SOEs.

The government also should be the leading shareholder in the third type, which includes emerging industries, advanced manufacturing industries and modern service industries.

State-owned assets can partly or even completely withdraw from the fourth kind of SOE, which involves companies in "common competitive fields" to play up the role of private capital.

The government is encouraging qualified SOEs, whose land will be counted among their assets, to apply to be listed in the stock market and to give its key employees stock ownership incentives.

Private equity funds and venture capital firms are welcome to participate in the SOE stockholding reforms.

Shanghai also will reform its public service SOEs through granting franchises to qualified private bidders.

The SOEs are expected to seek strategic partners with resources, marketing and advanced management, not just money. A government representative did not specify any restrictions on foreign capital in the SOE reform.

One noteworthy point is the government has made a risk-control mechanism a must to avert losses of State-owned assets and to curb possible corruption.

Shanghai weighs in on SOE ownership reforms 

Shanghai weighs in on SOE ownership reforms 

Power supplier will seek private capital  China to diversify SOE shareholding

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