Bids for China Shipbuilding sought


Thu, Sep 22, 2005 - Page 11

The government is inviting bids for a majority stake in China Shipbuilding Corp (中船), the nation's biggest shipbuilder, to help the company become more competitive and raise funds for public spending.

The government aims to sell a stake of between 51 percent and 66 percent in the company, the shipbuilder said in a statement yesterday. The stake offered includes 3 billion new shares.

The planned sale will "release the company from policies and regulations that have constrained state-run companies," China Shipbuilding said in the prospectus to investors. "As a private company, we will be able to adapt to changes in the global market place."

Reducing state ownership to less than 50 percent frees companies from having lawmakers review their budgets and from the government's management control. State-run utility Taiwan Power Co (台電) hasn't raised electricity fees for more than 20 years because of government opposition.

Companies or individuals interested in buying China Shipbuilding shares should submit bids before Oct. 17, the statement said.

Investors from China and those companies in which Chinese have stakes are barred from bidding.