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September 30, 2009

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Regulator to continue support for mergers

CHINA'S securities regulator says it will continue to support mergers and acquisitions among listed firms to boost efficiency and profit margins.

"With listed firms playing a more important role in the country's economy, mergers and acquisitions among them are a key avenue in the nation's plans to restructure the economy," Shang Fulin, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said on Monday.

Revenue reported by China's 1,625 listed firms climbed to 1.13 trillion yuan (US$165 billion) last year, accounting for 38 percent of gross domestic product.

Between 2006 and June 30, 123 listed firms were restructured and merged. The companies, valued at a combined 833.4 billion yuan, reported that profits and revenues surged as much as 300 percent in the same period, Shang said.

His remarks affirmed China's intention to merge thousands of state-owned companies as part of plans to build globally competitive industry giants.

China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai Airlines are in the process of a merger after reporting a combined loss of 16.5 billion yuan last year.

China United Telecommunications Corp and China Network Communications Group Corp in November unveiled plans to merge.

The country is also drafting plans to spur mergers and acquisitions among steel mills.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission is planning an asset management company this year to speed up the restructuring of smaller and underperforming SOEs directly administered by the central government.


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