China state firms hand in plans to exit property sector

China's agency overseeing big state-owned businesses has received plans from 78 state companies spelling out how they intend to sell out of the nation's heady property market, according to sources.

The China Securities Journal also reported that the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) was compiling a general plan to achieve the divestment, intended to help cool fast-rising real estate prices.

“In the specific implementation, divestment from commercial real estate will come first,” said the newspaper, citing an interview with an unidentified SASAC official.

But the official said asset sales could be complicated and “would be a process,” said the paper. The official gave no specific deadline.

In March, SASAC ordered the 78 bigger state companies whose core is not property to submit plans on how they intend to retreat from the sector.

The effort is part of a broader government campaign to rein in fast-rising housing and land prices.

State-owned enterprises from arms manufacturers to tobacco producers have expanded into property development in recent years, attracted by big profits but bidding up prices in the process.

In March, two state companies won land auctions in Beijing that smashed price records, generating a public outcry.

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