China to set up state conglomerates focusing on new strategic sectors

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BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters) - China will set up new central government-owned conglomerates focusing on strategic emerging industries at an appropriate time, the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) said on Thursday.

State-owned giants in the world's second-biggest economy should step up innovation and strengthen tech research for industrial machines, high-end chips, new materials and new energy vehicles, the SASAC said in a statement posted on its website.

Net profit at China's central government-owned firms more than doubled in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period a year ago to 1.2 trillion yuan ($185 billion), the SASAC said.

Rising raw materials prices have mainly benefited China's state giants, which dominate upstream industries, while small firms have been struggling to pass on higher costs to consumers.

($1 = 6.4934 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Cheng Leng and Kevin Yao; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell

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