Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Central SOEs: Score One for Transparency!

Securities Daily reports (from Econ. Observer Online) that, beginning with 2009, China's Central State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) will publicize their annual reports. This is big news!

Until now, central SOE results have been reported in aggregate, but the only enterprise level numbers we could see were those we could glean from the annual reports of the listed entities owned by SOEs. Now we will apparently be able to see the annual reports of all 141 group companies owned by central SASAC.

One unanswered question: who will audit these rat's nests of confusing cross-shareholdings, and how reliable will the numbers be?