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.


Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

Updated 23 May 2019
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Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

  • It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level
  • Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage

NICOSIA: Egypt has signed a deal with a Cypriot firm to lay a 310-kilometer (195-mile) cable under the Mediterranean to export electricity to Europe, the company said on Thursday.
Nicosia-based EuroAfrica described the deal, worth an estimated two billion euros, as a “landmark.”
“Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe,” said company chairman Ioannis Kasoulides.
It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level.
Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage.
“The national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system through Cyprus and will contribute to energy security,” Kasoulides said.
Following the crises in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the EU has been keen to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia.
In the past year, gas has started flowing from four major new fields off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and output is already sufficient to meet domestic needs.
The Arab world’s most populous country is now seeking to develop the infrastructure to export its newfound energy wealth, both as liquefied natural gas and as electricity.
Egypt is also seeking to import gas from fields off Cyprus and Israel to boost the profitability of the new liquefaction and export facilities it is developing on its Mediterranean coast.
In September, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus to build an undersea pipeline to pump Cypriot offshore gas to Egypt for processing for export to Europe.
The plans have led to closer eastern Mediterranean ties, with Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel holding regular high-level meetings.