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Rules to reign on SOEs' US$1.4 trillion in assets
( 2003-07-11 06:45) (China Daily)

Much tighter rules are on the way for managing assets of China's State-owned enterprises, which numbered 159,000 at the end of last year with assets totalling 11.8 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion).

The newly-established State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is busy drafting rules over a wide range of issues involved in the management and supervision of State assets.

Already in the pipeline are rules on the authorization of State assets management in SOEs, rules governing the key SOE subsidiaries, rules on the transfer of State-owned property rights, and guidelines for the handling of property rights-related disputes.

SASAC director Li Rongrong said this at a work conference yesterday in Beijing.

Regulations are coming soon on the performance evaluation of the State assets operation and on the transfer of State-owned shares in publicly listed companies.

Li did not give a timetable of the final enactment of the rules, but said they are among the commission's top priorities.

The three-month-old SASAC, the sole representative of the State as an owner and investor in the 196 central and biggest SOEs, is widely seen as constituting a dramatic reform in the system of State-owned assets in China.

By playing the role only as an investor in the SOEs, the SASAC will not assume any managerial functions. It will focus only on the maintenance and appreciation of the value of the State-owned assets, Li said.

The commission is trying to build a new and comprehensive evaluation system of the SOE managers, whose position, payment and relative award and punishment will be closely connected to their actual performance.

Li said the system will be applied to all the 196 central-level SOEs next year, with clear objectives set for the managers in the working contracts.

Enterprise leaders that cannot meet the goals will receive lower payments or be removed. Stock options and other incentives will be applied to encourage the good performers.

China aims to build up 30 to 50 internationally competitive State-owned or State-controlled enterprise groups in the future and more SOEs will be listed abroad, said Li Rongrong.

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