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New effort to boost consolidation

By Song Shengxia (Global Times)

08:09, January 23, 2013

China will step up efforts to boost consolidation in industries burdened with overcapacity and vicious competition, including autos, steel and rare earths, the country's industry watchdog announced Tuesday, as part of a broader plan to ensure sustainable economic growth.

The country will seek to allow the top 10 automakers to control 90 percent of auto production by 2015 and encourage establishment of three to five large automobile groups with greater core competitiveness, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced Tuesday.

The plan will also seek to bring 60 percent of the country's steel production under the control of the top 10 steelmakers by 2015 and encourage large steel groups to merge and acquire smaller firms in other regions, the MIIT said.

Seven other industries - including cement, shipbuilding, electrolytic aluminum and rare-earth production - are among the key sectors to be consolidated, according to the MIIT guidelines.

"The nine industries are plagued with problems such as duplicate construction, overcapacity and vicious competition," Zhu Hongren, the ministry's chief engineer, told reporters Tuesday.

"Through mergers and acquisitions, a number of large companies and groups could be formed, which would help optimize industrial structure and sustainable development," he said.

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