May 27, 2014 / 2:30 PM / 6 years ago

China's State Grid open to "non-state" investment-media

BEIJING, May 27 (Reuters) - The State Grid Corp of China , the country’s dominant power grid operator, will open two of its business sectors to new investors, including private and non-state companies, state media said on Tuesday.

The two sectors, which cover distributed power grids and electric vehicle charging equipment, have an estimated market value of 200 billion yuan ($32 billion), the official news agency Xinhua quoted State Grid representative Wang Yanfang as saying.

Successful investors will help State Grid build new electric vehicle charging stations in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in northern China and the Yangtze River Delta — a prosperous region in southern China that is made up of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, China Business News said in a separate report.

The move is part of Beijing’s latest effort to promote state enterprise reform and increase private participation in China, where the main parts of the economy remain in the hands of large government-owned conglomerates.

To increase privatisation, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in March that the telecoms, banking, oil, electricity, railway, resource development and utilities sectors will be open to non-state capital.

In State Grid’s case, the move to attract “social capital”, which includes mixed-ownership companies, such as state-owned firms with non-state shareholders, may not necessarily lead to a significant shift into private ownership.

State Grid transmits and distributes power to 1.1 billion people across nearly 90 percent of China.

State-owned China Telecom Corp Ltd, China’s third-largest carrier, was also reported by Chinese media earlier this month to be seeking private investment to develop new businesses such as social networking and an online payment system. ($1 = 6.2392 Chinese Yuan) (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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