China to lure foreign investment in state giants

China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering state-owned enterprises by introducing private capital and curbing overcapacity, among others. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2019
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China to lure foreign investment in state giants

  • China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering state-owned enterprises

BEIJING: China will seek to attract foreign investment in its larger state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which are undergoing reforms to make them more competitive, the head of the country’s state asset regulator said.
China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering SOEs by introducing private capital, curbing overcapacity, shutting down “zombie” subsidiaries and restructuring assets.
Private and foreign firms should “actively participate in reform and development of central enterprises, and jointly explore ways of deep cooperation including mixed-ownership,” Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), said on the regulator’s website on Sunday.
China has been promoting “mixed-ownership” reforms aimed at introducing private capital and management methods into giant central government SOEs. The SASAC will also support investment by state giants in private and foreign firms, Xiao said, without giving details.


Abu Dhabi aims to lure start-ups with investment in new technology hub

Updated 17 min 11 sec ago
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Abu Dhabi aims to lure start-ups with investment in new technology hub

  • The initiative will help Abu Dhabi reduce reliance on oil
  • Mubadala hopes to attract Chinese and Indian companies

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi will commit up to $272 million to support technology start-ups, it said on Sunday, in a dedicated hub as part of efforts to diversify its economy.

US tech giant Microsoft will be a strategic partner, providing technology and cloud services to the businesses that join the hub as the capital of the United Arab Emirates continues its push to reduce reliance on oil revenue.
Abu Dhabi derives about 50 percent of its real gross domestic product and about 90 percent of central government revenue from the hydrocarbon sector, according to ratings agency S&P.
The emirate launched a $13.6 billion stimulus fund, Ghadan 21, in September last year to accelerate economic growth. Ghadan means tomorrow in Arabic. The new initiative, named Hub 71, is linked to Ghadan will also involve the launch of a $136 million fund to invest in start-ups, said Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Ventures, the technology arm of Mubadala Investment Co.
The goal is to have 100 companies over the next three to five years, Ajami said. “The market opportunities in this region are immense,” he added.
Mubadala, with assets of $225 billion and a big investor in tech companies, will act as the driver of the hub, located in the emirate’s financial district.
Softbank will be active in the hub and support the expansion of companies in which it has invested, Ajami said, adding that Mubadala is also aiming to attract Chinese and Indian companies, among others.
Mubadala which has committed $15 billion to the Softbank Vision Fund, plans to launch a $400 million fund to invest in leading European technology companies.
Incentives mapped out by the government include housing, office space and health insurance as part of the $272 million commitment, Ajami said.
Abu Dhabi will also announce a new research and development initiative on Monday linked to the Ghadan 21 plan, according to an invitation sent to journalists.