China will speed up the restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the second half of the year by merging large conglomerates and accelerating sales of non-strategic assets across a wide range of sectors, the Financial Times reported. Beijing has previously stated it intends to reduce the number of large SOEs under government control to as few as 80 from 150. So far the government has allowed the SOEs to manage the task themselves but Wang Huisheng, who heads China’s largest state-owned industrial holding company, State Development and Investment Corp (SDIC), said the target cannot be met without direct action. Wang singled out the energy sector as a target for consolidation, saying he intended to consolidate upstream coal mining operations with transport links, port facilities and downstream power plants to offset risks from rising coal prices.
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