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China may name first SOEs to be restructured by year-end - paper

SHANGHAI Nov 22 China may name the first of its state-owned enterprises (SOE) to be restructured under a mixed-ownership system by the year-end, the business paper China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

Beijing has made reform of its huge, uncompetitive SOEs a priority as weak global demand weighs on economic growth and excess capacity and idle workers bleed what precious resources companies have at their disposal.

The paper said that the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) plans to hold a meeting with SOEs to advise on restructuring plans and the next steps.

SOE reform is widely expected to include the introduction of private capital and employee stock ownership among other things.

The seven industries from which the first batch of SOEs will be drawn to take part in the pilot include power, oil, natural gas, railway, civil aviation, telecommunications and the military, said Pi Pumin, spokesman at the National Development and Reform Commission, the paper said.

The commission had previously made clear that China Eastern Airlines Group, Unicom Group, China Southern Power Grid, Harbin Electric Corporation, China Nuclear E&C Group and China State Shipbuilding Corporation would be involved in the mixed-ownership reforms.

In September, China launched a 350 billion yuan ($50.8 billion) state enterprise restructuring fund to advance its supply-side reforms.

China will reduce the number of SOEs this year to no more than 100 from 106, state media reported in July, citing SASAC Deputy Secretary-General Peng Huagang, who added that 10 central SOEs were in talks to create five groups.

($1 = 6.8881 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Engen Tham and Wang Jing; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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