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Profits at SOEs rebound in March on measures

China's centrally administered state-owned enterprises rebounded in March when profits rose 26 percent from a year ago, an official with the state assets watchdog said yesterday.

Profits in the first two months of the year fell 33.3 percent year on year.

Government policies to cushion the effects from the global economic downturn had paid off, Li Rongrong, minister in charge of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference which concluded in Hainan Province yesterday.

March profits also surged 86 percent from February, he said. But Li didn't give the specific profits figure.

Operating revenue of the SOEs fell 5.4 percent year on year, but recording a 25-percent growth from February.

Li said he was optimistic but prudent about the future, and the country's economy might see a better-than-expected recovery with joint efforts from the government and enterprises. He urged enterprises to ensure enough cash liquidity amid the crisis.

Talking about acquisitions abroad, he said ''money is not a problem for these enterprises going overseas for acquisitions, but management is the top concern."

Acquisitions should be done within their capital, management and technology capability, otherwise the results would be catastrophic, Li cautioned.

He noted it was more important for major enterprises to focus on tackling the economic slowdown as they play an important role in the national economy and also shoulder great responsibility.

The government announced in February that it would examine major investment projects and mergers of centrally administered SOEs to prevent fiscal risks.

The 2008 profits of Chinese SOEs under direct central government control saw the first annual fall since 2002, tumbling more than 30 percent year on year to 665.29 billion yuan (US$97.2 billion).


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