Chinese construction SOE CREC mulls debt

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CREC workers building a railway in Venezuela. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING - Chinese construction giant China Railway Group Limited (CREC) is considering exchanging debt for equity in some of its subsidiaries.

The Shanghai-listed firm decided to suspend stock trading starting on Monday as the move could lead to major assets reorganization, the company said Sunday.

CREC reported an expectation-beating financial performance last year. It took revenue of 693.37 billion yuan ($109.16 billion) and net profit of 16.07 billion yuan, up 7.8 percent and 28.4 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The company saw its revenue and net profit grow 10.12 percent and 21.92 percent year-on-year, respectively, in the first three months of this year.

CREC is the latest Chinese State-owned enterprise to try reducing its debt level and improve efficiency via debt-for-equity programs. Shipbuilding firm China CSSC Holdings Limited and Aluminum Corporation of China Limited introduced other investors via such programs.

China's State Council released guidelines in late 2016 to encourage firms, especially State-owned enterprises, to take market-oriented debt-for-equity swaps to enhance their financial health.