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Salaries up at struggling firms

SENIOR executives at 813 Chinese listed firms earned on average 14.4 percent more last year although combined profit for these firms dropped 2.38 percent in the period.

The listed companies paid a total of 2.8 billion yuan (US$409.7 million) to these executives, and 556 of the firms raised salaries for executives, according to calculations by Shanghai Securities News based on annual reports.

A total of 225 companies raised salaries despite losses or declining profits. Hubei Guangji Pharmaceutical Co raised executives' salaries 10 times in the period, the report said.

Shenzhen Development Bank paid the most among the 813 companies with 43.73 million yuan going to its executives, followed by Huafa Industrial Co's 41 million yuan and Bank of China's 37.37 million yuan.

However, 257 listed companies maintained or reduced salaries for executives, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of China Construction Bank, had his salary cut 12 percent, as did the bank's governor Zhang Jianguo, and Ma Ming-zhe, chairman of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, was said to receive "zero salary" last year.

Meanwhile, China's state-owned asset regulator called for lower payments to senior executives at the 141 centrally administered state-owned enterprises.

The growth of senior executives' salaries must be slower than profit growth and in line with their efficiency, Shao Ning, deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, was quoted as saying.

A company should adopt a salary-fluctuation mechanism to keep pace with its performance, Shao said.

Some SOEs have reduced salaries for executives. Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Co has announced it will cut executives' salaries by 50 percent and other employees' salaries by as much as 20 percent, while Aluminum Corp of China said it will cut executives' pay by 50 percent and other employees' by 15 percent.


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