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China says debt risks at central SOEs under control

(Xinhua)    16:52, September 28, 2017

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Debt risks at China's centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are totally under control as the companies maintained a steady debt ratio over the past five years, the chief of the state assets watchdog said Thursday.

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, according to Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

"The debt risk level at central SOEs is reasonable, appropriate and totally controllable," he said at a press conference.

To further keep the debt ratio under control, Xiao said the government will step up efforts in supply-side structural reform and the restructuring of SOEs.

The Chinese government has been actively restructuring central SOEs in a bid to improve their efficiency and competitiveness, with the number of central SOEs falling to 98 from 117 five years ago.

Xiao said 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.

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