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Shanghai vows to boost SOE reform
By Chang Tianle (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-26 08:39

Through a series of new measures, the Shanghai government is vowing to make it easier for State-owned-enterprises (SOEs) to go public and instill good governance and competitiveness in listed companies.

The government is also encouraging securities houses and fund management companies to attract foreign strategic investors, and is welcoming foreign securities institutions to the city.

These moves are Shanghai's response to the State Council's plans aimed at boosting the development of China's capital market.

"Effectively improving the quality of listed companies is the foundation of healthy development of the capital market," Jiao Yang, spokesperson for the Shanghai government, told a news conference yesterday.

As China's economic hub, Shanghai aims to merge existing SOEs into conglomerates and go public.

The government will encourage qualified large SOEs to float their shares as a group through various means. It also encourages listed companies to participate in the merger and acquisition of State-owned assets.

Also high on the agenda, according to Jiao, is to better regulate the legal operation of listed firms, including improving corporate governance, enhancing investor relations and emphasizing investor returns.

The government will also be engaged in setting up incentives for Shanghai listed companies' management teams.

"As for non-performing companies, they have to retreat from the market," she added.

Shanghai aims to be an international financial centre by 2020 and aims to attract financial institutions both from home and abroad.

The municipal government says it will continue to provide a fair and friendly environment for various types of funds and institutions, according to the spokesperson.

"We will greatly support and boost business integration and innovation among banking, futures, securities and insurance industries to form an interactive market structure," she said.

"We hope to attract fund management companies, insurance fund management companies and qualified foreign institutional investors to locate in Shanghai," Jiao added.

Overseas strategic investors are also encouraged to buy into local securities houses and fund management companies.

Jiao said the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Shanghai and Hong Kong provides an excellent opportunity enabling the two cities to development their capital markets.

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