China to soon unveil state firm ownership reforms - Xinhua

SHANGHAI, April 12 (Reuters) - China will soon release

details of ambitious ownership reform plans at central

government-owned firms, including telecom giant China Unicom and

China Eastern Airlines, the official Xinhua news

agency said on Wednesday.

China's long-awaited mixed ownership reforms will allow

private capital to invest in firms run directly by the central

government, and are part of an ambitious revamp of the country's

sclerotic and debt-ridden state sector.

The central government currently owns and administers 102

enterprises in sectors ranging from nuclear technology to

medicine.

China Unicom's Hong Kong listed subsidiary said

last week that its main state shareholder was currently

reviewing its ownership structure.

Xinhua said the first round of pilot reforms would also

involve the China Southern Power Grid and the China Shipbuilding

Industry Corporation, and a second round would begin later this

year, extending reforms to more industrial sectors.

China made mixed ownership reform one of its priorities

during a meeting of the Central Economic Work Conference late

last year.

It said in its government work report published at the

beginning of the full session of parliament in March that

"substantive progress" would be made this year on mixed

ownership reforms in key sectors like electric power, oil and

gas, railways, civil aviation and defence.

Xiao Yaqing, the head of the State-Owned Assets Supervision

and Administration Commission (SASAC), told a media briefing

last month that he expected major breakthroughs this year, but

he stressed that it would not be appropriate for every single

state firm.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Muralikumar

Anantharaman)