Chinese central SOEs asked to lead in repaying overdue corporate debts
An engineer assembles an axial-flow compressor at a workshop of the Shaanxi Blower (Group) Co., Ltd., a state-owned enterprise, in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, November 18, 2020. Photo: Xinhua
Centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been asked to prevent and resolve risks in key areas, uphold financial discipline, and display leadership in repaying overdue debts, said a statement issued by China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) on Saturday.
The SASAC held a special meeting attended by top executives from the central SOEs, who were asked to promote high-quality and stable economic growth, while guard against debt risks.
Central SOEs should lead in repaying debts owed to others, make sure timely wage payment to rural migrant workers, and ensure their winter heating and production safety, the statement said.
SASAC Chairman Zhang Yuzhuo emphasized at the meeting the need to resolutely strengthen state-owned capital at the SOEs, in order to contribute more to the country's economy.
On September 20, the State Council approved a special action plan for clearing overdue corporate debts. It emphasized that provincial governments have the overall responsibility for clearing up arrears in their regions, urgently addressing government arrears to enterprises and breaking the chain of mutual arrears among businesses.
The cabinet said that central and SOEs should take the lead in repaying debts.
Northwest China's Gansu Province, for instance, is addressing the problem of overdue payments to private enterprises by improving the mechanisms for handling and supervising complaints related to overdue payments.
North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region announced in September that it would issue special-purpose refinancing bonds of 66.32 billion yuan, with the proceeds to be used to repay overdue corporate debts.
At the SASAC's latest meeting, central SOEs were also asked to accelerate the development of strategic emerging industries, incubate a group of unicorn enterprises, and collaborate in building up clusters for strategic emerging industries.
SOEs should actively support and promote new breakthroughs in the comprehensive revitalization of Northeast China. It is essential to adapt strategies to local conditions, and expedite the implementation of major projects that are highly compatible and offer a strong driving force for the region, the meeting was told.