China state assets regulator says debt reduction, curbing risks still key

China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie has tried to defuse concern over the country’s rising debt, saying government borrowing is below danger levels. (AP)
Updated 10 March 2018

China state assets regulator says debt reduction, curbing risks still key

BEIJING: Reducing debt and curbing risks remain priorities for China’s state-owned firms, the head of the country’s state assets regulator said on Saturday, as Beijing continues its restructuring and deleveraging efforts.
State-owned firms would be pushed to improve their asset quality and boost their equity capital, Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, told reporters on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament.
The regulator also would seek to use debt-for-equity swaps to further reduce debt at state-owned companies, he added.
In 2015, Beijing introduced reforms to its state-owned industrial sector aimed at strengthening central government-owned enterprises, while introducing more professional management systems such as the adoption of boards of directors.
Xiao said those reforms would quicken.
The sector reported a rebound last year, with enterprises owned by China’s central government showing profit growth of 15.2 percent, to 1.4 trillion yuan ($221.2 billion), the fastest in five years.
Total profit from China’s central government-owned firms for the first two months of 2018 rose 22.6 percent from a year earlier to 266.7 billion yuan ($42.1 billion), Xiao said.


Egyptian state banks collect over $10bn from high-yield savings product

Updated 29 min 56 sec ago

Egyptian state banks collect over $10bn from high-yield savings product

CAIRO: Egypt’s two biggest state banks have collected 171 billion Egyptian pounds ($10.5 billion) from a new high-yield savings product they introduced in March, officials from the two banks were quoted as saying on Saturday.
The one-year product, launched on March 22, carry a 15% yield.
An official at the National Bank of Egypt said it had collected 122 billion pounds, while Banque Misr’s chairman said it had gathered 49 billion pounds, state news agency MENA reported.