SHANGHAI China will soon release details of ambitious ownership reform plans at central government-owned firms, including telecom giant China Unicom and China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS), the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.
China's long-awaited mixed ownership reforms will allow private capital to invest in firms run directly by the central government, and are part of an ambitious revamp of the country's sclerotic and debt-ridden state sector.
The central government currently owns and administers 102 enterprises in sectors ranging from nuclear technology to medicine.
China Unicom's Hong Kong listed subsidiary (0762.HK) said last week that its main state shareholder was currently reviewing its ownership structure.
Xinhua said the first round of pilot reforms would also involve the China Southern Power Grid and the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, and a second round would begin later this year, extending reforms to more industrial sectors.
China made mixed ownership reform one of its priorities during a meeting of the Central Economic Work Conference late last year.
It said in its government work report published at the beginning of the full session of parliament in March that "substantive progress" would be made this year on mixed ownership reforms in key sectors like electric power, oil and gas, railways, civil aviation and defense.
Xiao Yaqing, the head of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), told a media briefing last month that he expected major breakthroughs this year, but he stressed that it would not be appropriate for every single state firm.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)