China's central state firms report strong growth in first three quarters
China's centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) reported an 18.4-percent rise in total profits in the first nine months, the strongest growth for the same period since 2012, official data showed.
In the first three quarters of this year, China's central SOEs made a total of 1.11 trillion yuan (about 168.6 billion U.S. dollars) in profits, said Shen Ying, chief accountant of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).
Total revenue of the central SOEs was up 15.4 percent to 19.1 trillion yuan in the nine-month period, while revenue of enterprises from industries such as high-end manufacturing, scientific research and modern services jumped 24.1 percent, she told a press conference Thursday.
Fixed-asset investment of central SOEs dropped 1.5 percent year on year to 1.4 trillion yuan as enterprises from industries with excessive capacity, such as coal and steel-making, had large cuts in investment, according to Shen.
China's central SOEs have beaten government-set targets of reducing 59.5 million tonnes of steel capacity, said Shen. As of September, these companies had also cut 23.88 million tonnes of excessive coal capacity.
Meanwhile, the average debt-to-asset ratio of China's central SOEs held steady at 66.5 percent as of the end of last month, 0.2 percentage points lower than the beginning of this year, according to SASAC data.
"Debt risks at central SOEs are generally under control, as the capital structure of most enterprises is stable," Shen said.
China currently has 98 central SOEs, down from 117 five years ago as the government has been actively restructuring central SOEs in a bid to improve their efficiency and competitiveness.