SDIC in vanguard of reform

By LI XIANG/ZHUANG QIANGE | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-11 06:37

Firm promotes new industries and spins off traditional assets

State Development & Investment Corp, China's largest State-owned investment holding company, said it will boost investment in innovative and emerging industries and overseas business to better serve the country's economic transformation and the Belt and Road Initiative.

SDIC, a leader in China's effort to reform State-owned enterprises, is seeking to optimize its business structure by increasing exposure to new industries such as alternative energy and high-end manufacturing while divesting itself of nonperforming assets in traditional industries with excess capacity, said Wang Huisheng, chairman of SDIC.

The company aims to increase the portion of its assets in strategic and emerging industries to 30 percent by 2020, from the current 20 percent. Last year, it spun off assets worth about 55 billion yuan in the shipping and coal industries, according to Wang.

That move reflected the ambitious reform to increase the competitiveness of the State-owned giants as China works to replace old growth drivers with new ones, with emphasis on innovation, technology and efficiency.

"As an SOE, our task is to carry out reform based on market principles and to support the national economic policies and industries that are strategically important and matter to people's lives," Wang said.

The company will increase investment in projects such as seawater desalination, biofuels, elderly care, quality control and management systems as well as energy efficiency and environmental protection, the chairman said.

To support the country's Made in China 2025 strategy, the company launched a 20 billion yuan ($3.09 billion) fund in collaboration with key ministries to invest in the high-end manufacturing sector.

In addition, Wang said expanding overseas investment and operation is another focus of SDIC as it is looking to tap into opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative. The company already invested in a cement project in Indonesia and manufacturing facilities for automobile gas tanks in countries including India, Russia and the Czech Republic.

The company's overseas assets stood at 31.8 billion yuan by the end of last year, accounting for 7 percent of its total assets, which points toward further growth potential of its international business.

SDIC reported profit of 11.3 billion yuan for the first half of the year, up by 41 percent year-on-year.

"Along with good performances of our business in the emerging industries and the financial service sector, we managed to get rid of some zombie enterprises to reduce our losses," Wang said.

The company was ranked 174th with 87 billion yuan in revenue last year in the latest Top 500 Chinese Enterprises list, unveiled on Sunday by China Enterprise Confederation and China Enterprise Directors Association.

Nine of the top 10 companies are SOEs with the State Grid grabbing the top spot with 2.09 trillion yuan in revenue. Oil giants Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp were ranked second and third.

China's top 500 enterprises reported total revenues of 64 trillion yuan in 2016, up by 7.64 percent year-on-year, reversing the declining trend in the previous two years, the list showed.

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