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China Plans To Sell Coal Stock

January 4, 1998

BEIJING (AP) _ China plans to sell stock in 10 to 15 of its strongest coal companies over the next three years, an official newspaper reported Sunday.

The state-owned Chinese coal industry is in the midst of major reforms that have restored many companies to profitability at the cost of hundreds of thousands of layoffs.

The Business Weekly quoted Coal Minister Wang Senhao as saying that after a series of trial reforms, the government is ready to restructure all of its large and medium-sized mines by 2000.

Chinese officials unveiled sweeping plans in September to reform state industries through bankruptcies and mergers. They have said some firms might sell stock to the public, but that most would be off-limits to foreign investors.

The Business Weekly did not give any details of plans by Wang’s ministry to sell stock.

The amount of coal mined by China fell 3.2 percent last year to 1.33 billion tons, in part because of reform-related production cutbacks, the newspaper said.

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