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CHINA DATA
CHINA DATA: Profits by China's 98 major central state-owned companies (SOEs) in
2017 increased by the most in 5 yrs, Shen Ying, a spokeswoman of the State-owned
Assets Supervision & Administration Commission, told reporters Weds. 
- Central SOEs' combined profits in 2017 rose by 15.2% y/y to CNY1.42tln.
- Traditional sectors inc petrochemical, steel & coal returned to profitability 
- Modern manufacturing/services added to 40% overall returns of central SOEs 
- SOEs have completed its process of reducing excess capacity in steel
production; will focus on shrinking coal capacity by 10mln tons in 2018.
- SOEs reduced overall leverage by 0.4 percentage point in 2017 y/y.
- No default on bonds by SOEs in 2017.
***TAKEAWAY: SOEs enjoys supports after President Xi Jinping called on SOEs to
be "bigger and stronger." China for last 2-yrs initiated an environmental
protection drive & curtailed industrial production capacities. These moves
spurred higher prices of everything from coal to steel, which benefit SOEs. Shen
signaled China won't go further with cutting steel capacity. That will likely
cause more friction with key trading partners like the U.S. and EU. 
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-586-3805 | nick.shamim@marketnews.com