This undated photo shows a worker checking a molten steel at an iron and steel plant in Dalian, Liaoning province. (LIU DEBIN / CHINA DAILY)
BEIJING - China's centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) saw the strongest-ever growth both in revenue and profits for January-August, the chief of the state assets watchdog said Thursday.
"In the first eight months, China's central SOEs reported a 15.7 percent increase in business revenue and a 17.3 percent growth in total profits, both historical highs," said Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
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Under the government's supply-side structural reform, central SOEs have also made considerable progress in excess capacity cuts and leverage control.
The debt risk level at central SOEs is reasonable, appropriate and totally controllable
Xiao Yaqing, chairman of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission
"From January to August, China's central SOEs beat government-set targets by reducing 16.14 million tonnes of steel capacity and 55.1 million tonnes of coal capacity," Xiao told a press conference.
He also revealed that by the end of August, the average debt-to-asset ratio of China's central SOEs dropped to 66.5 percent, 0.2 percentage points lower than the beginning of this year.
Debt risks at China's SOEs are also under control as the companies kept a steady debt ratio over the past five years.
"The debt risk level at central SOEs is reasonable, appropriate and totally controllable," he said at a press conference, adding that he is "fully confident" in future debt control work and believes that the debt ratio at central SOEs will decrease at a steady pace as their performance continues to improve.
With government reform and restructuring efforts gradually paying off, Chinese central SOEs have been increasingly efficient and competitive over the last five years.
"By the end of 2016, total assets of China's central SOEs reached 50.5 trillion yuan (about US$7.62 trillion), an 80 percent jump from the end of 2011," Xiao said.
The government will step up efforts in supply-side structural reform and the restructuring of SOEs, said Xiao, to further keep the debt ratio under control.
China's cabinet said Wednesday that more work should be done to advance the restructuring of the central SOEs, especially in equipment manufacturing, coal, electricity, communications and chemical industries.
The Chinese government has been actively restructuring central SOEs in a bid to improve their efficiency and competitiveness. Since 2013, more than 30 central SOEs have been restructured, including a merger between two of China's top bullet train makers and that between two major steelmakers.