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China to inject $1.5 bn into power sector: Report

business Updated: Jan 19, 2009 12:25 IST

China is expected to inject at least ten billion yuan ($1.5 billion) into the struggling power sector in its latest efforts to prop up key industries, Chinese media reported on Monday.

The state assets watchdog will offer subsidies to five leading state-owned power producers and two power grid firms, which were battered last year by severe snowstorms and the May earthquake, the China Business Journal reported.

The five power producers expected to get financial aid from the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission are China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corp, China Guodian Corp, China Huadian Corp and China Power Investment Corp, according to the report.

State Grid Corp and China Southern Grid Co are also likely to receive funds from the agency, it said.

The official Shanghai Securities News reported last month the five power producers posted a combined loss of 26.8 billion yuan for the first ten months of 2008 due to rising coal costs and government-capped power prices.

The move would mark Beijing's latest efforts to pump money into key industries hit by the economic slowdown.

The parents of China Eastern Airlines Corp and China Southern Airlines have been promised seven billion yuan and three billion yuan respectively in a government bailout, the listed units of the two carriers said in December.

Last week, Beijing unveiled an automotive bailout package including a cut in sales tax for purchases of small cars and a 10-billion-yuan fund to help makers upgrade technology and develop alternative-energy vehicles.