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China launches coal asset management unit to lead capacity cuts

Chinahas set up a coal asset management unit to consolidate coal mines controlled by central government-owned companies, accordingto a July 22 statement from the state-owned Assets Supervision andAdministration Commission.

Foundersof the new company — Guoyuan Coal Asset Management Co. Ltd. — will includeShenhua Group Corp.Ltd. and ChinaNational Coal Group Corp. as well as two asset management companies— China Reform Holdings Corp. Ltd. and China Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd. Thetwo coal majors were expected to lead consolidation of state-owned coal mines.

TheChinese central government has previously required that central government-controlled companiesthat own coal mines as noncore assets to exit the industry.

Guoyuanis expected to lead the program and help authorities to reduce the coalcapacity of central government-owned companies, according to the commission.

The commissiondid not disclose the interests held in Guoyuan by its four institutionalfounders, but a July 25 report from ShanghaiSecurities News cited an unnamed industry source as saying that ChinaNational Coal will probably be in charge of the consolidation.