Guangdong Leads SOE Reform Effort

From the SCMP: Guangdong eyes SOE reform
In addition to Guangdong's target for 70 per cent of its state enterprises adopting a mixed-ownership structure by 2017, meaning allowing some form of private ownership, the province wants to see private investors on board all SOEs by 2020. This requirement excludes those state enterprises deemed to be subject to national security considerations, with investors left guessing on the industries that may be off-limits.

Gilbert Ho, managing partner of AID Partners Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund, thinks Guangdong will struggle to meet the 2017 deadline for the first phase of the reforms.

"Even if the Guangdong government is willing to sell out stakes of its state-owned enterprises, it would take time to identify the right buyers and to close the deals. The buyers, including those foreign investors, on the other hand, would need time to do the due diligence and negotiation." he said.

Also SCMP: Reform continues in the Shanghai FTZ, Beijing eases restrictions on foreign firms in year-old Shanghai free-trade zone
Beijing said it was lifting restrictions on foreign investments in several industries, such as the shipping sector, in Shanghai's free-trade zone, a day before the much-hyped "mini Hong Kong" marks its first year in business.

The policy change follows Premier Li Keqiang's statement this month that market forces would be allowed to play a dominant role in the FTZ, touted as a testing ground for sweeping reforms.

According to a circular to ministries and provincial governments from the State Council, more than 20 sectors are to be opened up to overseas investors in the FTZ.

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