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China mixed-ownership reform yielding results

China's centrally administered state-owned enterprises, or SOEs, posted double-digit growth in revenue and profit in the first two months of 2018, while more than 80% of listed central SOEs reported "surging" profits in 2017, state-run Chinese newspaper China Daily reported March 21.

In January and February, central SOEs' profits rose an annual 22.6% to 206.67 billion yuan, while their total revenue climbed 10.9% year over year to 4.1 trillion yuan, China Daily said, citing "official data" without specifying where the data came from.

Meanwhile, 43 of the 53 listed central SOEs that have filed annual results with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges showed "surging" profits in 2017, the newspaper reported, but did not provide aggregate exact figures.

For full year 2017, Xinjiang Bayi Iron and Steel Co's net profits skyrocketed more than 30x to 1.17 billion yuan while China United Network Communications Ltd.'s net profit surged 176.4% year over year to 430 million yuan in 2017, China Daily reported. The companies' improved performance reflects the central government's efforts to restructure SOEs to improve their efficiency and competitiveness. China has rolled out two rounds of mixed-ownership reform covering a combined 19 SOEs in various sectors such as electrical services and civil aviation, the newspaper said.

The Chinese government is now planning to implement a third round of mixed-ownership reform covering 10 centrally administered and 21 locally administred SOEs to further enhance their profitability and efficiency. The number of central SOEs has fallen to 98 from 117 five years ago, China Daily said.

As of March 21, US$1 was equivalent to 6.33 Chinese yuan.