Home>News Center>Bizchina

Beijing seeks more foreign investment
By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-21 08:46

A batch of Beijing's State-owned enterprises (SOE) rolled out the red carpet for investors by launching a share-stake promoting conference yesterday.

One hundred and fifty six projects, with total assets of 29.1 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion), opened to all investors including State-owned enterprises, private capital and even individuals.

Most of the projects are small-and-medium enterprises, accounting for 90 per cent. These projects cover a wide range of industries, with manufacturing representing the largest part at 31 per cent.

"The promotion aims to quicken the strategic adjustment of State capital with market-oriented means," said Xiong Daxin, director of Beijing State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

The promotion conference will act as a platform for more investors to get involved in the restructuring SOEs. The SOEs will also benefit from the broadened financing channels, Xiong added.

"Foreign investors, with their top-notch management and technology, are welcomed to step up the on-going joint-stock reforms of SOEs," Gong Li, vice-director of Beijing SASAC, told China Daily in a sidelines interview. "However, given the concerns about (not having) the controlling stake, foreign investors will not be the major force."

Gong reiterated that bringing in a qualified strategic investor plays a vital role in boosting the development of SOEs. "Foreign investors obviously enjoy the upper hand in terms of talents and technology."

Gong suggested that foreign investors could have a bigger role to play in transferring SOEs' resources such as land and workshops. "Compared with setting-up joint ventures with SOEs, buying those resources is easier for foreign investors as they don't have to think about redundant workers and other burdens of their Chinese partners," Gong told China Daily.

Investors also have a diversified financing choice. About 43 per cent of SOEs would like to transfer their existing assets, while 29 per cent would prefer to increase their assets through the financing, While 22 per cent would like to discuss other means with investors.

Thanks to ongoing re-structuring, Beijing's SOEs saw a sharp profit increase last year, up 56 per cent on a yearly basis. Their sales income also climbed 20 per cent, topping 284.3 billion yuan (US$35.1 billion). The strong growing momentum also continued in the first-half year of 2005, with their sales income hitting 140.7 billion yuan (US$13.4 billion), up 14.3 per cent compared with the same period last year.

"As part of our work focus, we will improve SOEs' corporate governance by bringing in an independent board," said Gong. "About 40 key SOEs will standardize their board before the end of this year, with the supervisory board having bigger rights."

Beijing SASAC has mapped out a three-year plan to finish the restructuring of the SOEs.

In Beijing, 40 per cent of SOEs have finished the restructuring, "The figure is expected to exceed 50 per cent by the end of this year," said Gong. "We are striving to complete the reshuffle campaign before 2007."

Meanwhile, those SOEs that are not up to the standard of restructuring will be closed down or liquidated.

(China Daily 09/21/2005 page11)

  Story Tools  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.