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Chinese SOEs to be barred from property development

BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- China's government is set to order some central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to quit real estate business as their land acquisitions are blamed for fuelling rise of urban housing prices, spokesman of the state assets watchdog Du Yuanquan said Thursday.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) would require 78 centrally-administered SOEs, whose major business was not property development, to withdraw from the business, Du said in a SASAC press conference Thursday in Beijing.

The SASAC gave no specific timetable for the withdrawal, but Du said it would require the 78 enterprises to step up business restructuring and gradually pull out of property development after all current real estate projects were finished.

Housing prices in China's 70 large and medium-sized cities grew 10.7 percent in February from a year earlier, and were up 0.9 percent compared to the previous month, according to official figures.

However, a total of 16 central SOEs, who have property development as major business, such as the China National Real Estate Development Group Corp. and the China Poly Group Corp., would continue in real estate, said Du

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