China Revamps Everbright Group in State Business Shake-Up

China plans to revamp the ownership of China Everbright Group Ltd., a Beijing company with $420 billion of assets from banking and broking to tourism, in the latest shake up of state businesses.

The company will become a joint stock company instead of a “state-wholly-owned enterprise,” Hong Kong-listed unit China Everbright Ltd. (165) said in an exchange filing yesterday. Set up in 1983, the group had 2.6 trillion yuan ($420 billion) of assets last year, pre-tax profits of 37 billion yuan and almost 50,000 employees, according to its website.

China is restructuring state businesses after Communist Party leaders pledged to give markets a “decisive” role in the world’s second-biggest economy. The Ministry of Finance and Central Huijin Investment Ltd., the sovereign investor that controls China’s largest banks, will inject assets in the proposed restructuring of the group, which controls China Everbright Bank Co. (6818) and Everbright Securities Co. (601788)

Efforts to restructure state businesses have included a deal to shift assets from Citic Group -- China’s first state-owned investment corporation, set up in 1979 -- to its main Hong Kong-listed unit.

Bank of Communications Co., China’s fifth-largest lender by assets, this week said it’s studying plans to deepen its mixed-ownership structure, a move that may introduce more private and foreign investment into the state-controlled bank.

China will trial giving some state-owned companies more independence in making investment decisions and hiring top executives, two people familiar with the matter said last month.

China Everbright Group is led by Chairman Tang Shuangning and supervised by the State Council, or cabinet. No binding agreement for the restructuring has yet been signed, the Hong Kong unit said in yesterday’s statement.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Aipeng Soo in Beijing at asoo4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net Paul Panckhurst

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