Take China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC) as an example, almost 86% of its stock is stated-owned. Its senior managers' promotion are related to the company's profit. And since there are investors who own 14% percent of its stock, maybe the company will face revenue pressure from them. But I think this is not sufficient to explain why they are so aggressive, I must overlook something more important. Any ideas are going to be appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by "aggressive"? $\endgroup$
    – rocinante
    Jan 8 '16 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ @rocinante They take every means to make profit. Such as lobbying, bribing, etc. $\endgroup$
    – Rowan
    Jan 8 '16 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ With your specific example of CNPC, who exactly are they bribing and lobbying if they're the also government? Themselves? $\endgroup$
    – rocinante
    Jan 8 '16 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ What I'm getting at here is that I don't see on what premise you think that state-owned firms would behave any differently with respect to shareholder returns than private firms. They're "aggressive" because they need to make money for the state budget, which is tasked to provide social services more and more people. This is especially true for China where there is a huge population of older people. $\endgroup$
    – rocinante
    Jan 8 '16 at 4:39
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    $\begingroup$ @rocinante Yes, I find my premise seems somewhat paradoxical. I'll clear my head and edit the question. $\endgroup$
    – Rowan
    Jan 8 '16 at 4:45

You have to distinguish between state owned public service companies and state owned for-profit companies, the for-profit companies are really commercial companies with governments being major shareholders. I would not use the term "state owned" in case of the latter form. Governments can form joint-ventures with private and multinational companies. Governments in this instance would have a special investment management agency or just a fund that are formed to attract investments from abroad. And, in every new joint venture, the government is the main shareholder. So, in CNPC's case, government is a proper shareholder just like institutional shareholders. Since Chinese government is the main shareholder it has the majority of voting rights and would certainly want a good return on investment and they are "aggressive in making profit" as you suggest.

In the former case where the companies, if it can be called a company, are formed to provide public services (think of nationalised train companies), they are not there to make profit, but provide low cost high quality services.


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