Business / Companies

Chengtong to raise fund to speed up SOE reform

By ZHONG NAN (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-12 08:12

Chengtong to raise fund to speed up SOE reform

Ma Zhengwu, chairman of China Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

State-owned asset-operating group China Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd is raising a large-scale fund to help finance and speed up structural reform of the SOEs, its Chairman Ma Zhengwu said in Beijing on Thursday.

Ma did not give a precise figure for the new fund, which among other things will help with finances for SOEs to fund their acquisitions and mergers both domestically and internationally.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission chose Chengtong as one of the two State-owned enterprises to pilot SOE reforms selected by the central government this year.

The company said on Thursday the funding will be used to support SOEs to upgrade their industrial layout, optimize capital allocation, investment of State-owned capital, mergers and reorganization, as well as promote their overseas operations.

The group has completed reorganization of six SOEs, 14 SOE subsidiaries and 11 defense industry companies over the past decade.

It also managed bankruptcy liquidations for 656 companies with a total debt of 80 billion yuan ($12 billion), as part of the move to accelerate SOE reforms.

Ma said that overcapacity has become a major problem for both the public and the private sectors.

He said the difference was that private enterprises were more market-orientated, reacting to change through downsizing, shutdowns or bankruptcy, when they were unable to generate a profit.

Eager to enhance the earning ability of the SOE titans, China chose two State-owned enterprises-China Chengtong and China Reform Holdings Co Ltd-as capital-operating companies, to pilot SOE reforms in February.

With its experience in capital operations, Chengtong managed financially troubled China Railway Materials Co Ltd when CRM repayed 6.8 billion yuan in public debt between January and August. Chengtong took over CRM's management powers, in a move authorized by the SASAC in April.

"Unsuccessful clearance of overcapacity poses a major threat to China's economic structure," Ma said.

"China is therefore resorting to SOE mergers to create more global powerhouses and avoid cutthroat competition, in addition to restructuring redundant industries to aid the supply-side reform," he added.

Chengtong currently has 13 affiliated enterprises including China National Materials Storage and Transportation Co, China Paper Investment Co and China Commerce Group, as well as 280 subsidiaries in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Russia and the United Kingdom.

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