China's central state-owned enterprises have reported a stable level of debt over the past year, while the government's main task this year still will be to reduce corporate leverage, lower debt ratio and ward off risks, said Xiao Yaqing, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
"Central enterprises' debt level has steadily dropped in recent years. Their total assets reached 54.5 trillion yuan in 2017. Their average debt to asset ratio was at 66.3% in 2017, dropping 0.4 percentage point over the previous year," Xiao said at a news conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual two sessions.
But Xiao stressed that while the total debt level of central companies is stable, some individual SOEs or their subsidiaries are still struggling with high levels of debt and risk.
"Aiming to tackle to the problems, we will further push for classified management and control for different types of enterprises, and make better use of market oriented measures, such as debt-to-equity swaps," Xiao said.
(Writing by Jessie Jia Editing by Harry Huo)
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