Market speculation over the most likely merger candidates among China’s 112 central government-owned enterprises has overshadowed the realities of the apparent new drive to pare that number down to just 40, South China Morning Post reported, citing analysts. The State-owned Assets Supervision Administration Commission did not categorically deny the contents of a report late last month by mainland newspaper Economic Information Daily claiming that Beijing planned to cut the number of enterprises it administered, but it said the report had been published without checks being made. Guan Qingyou, head of research for Minsheng Securities, said Beijing would proceed cautiously, and was unlikely to enact mergers en masse.
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