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Biz China Weekly: SOEs profits, service trade deficit and ext

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BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The following are the highlights of China's key business news from the past week:

SOEs PROFITS

Profits of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) grew steadily in the first two months of 2019, the Ministry of Finance said Monday.

The combined profits of China's SOEs rose 10 percent year on year to 452 billion yuan (about 67 billion U.S. dollars) for the January-February period.

VAT RATES REDUCTION

China's customs will significantly cut VAT rates for its import enterprises in 2019, the latest move to reduce the financial burden of enterprises.

The total VAT reduction for imports will reach around 225 billion yuan (about 33.5 billion U.S. dollars) this year, after the implementation of lower VAT rates on April 1, according to the General Administration of Customs.

SERVICE TRADE DEFICIT

China's deficit in foreign service trade narrowed in February, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said Thursday.

The deficit decreased to 20.6 billion U.S. dollars last month, down from 22.8 billion dollars in January.

EXTERNAL DEBT

China's external debt expanded 12 percent year on year to 1.97 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of last year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said Friday.

The growth was mainly attributed to the increase of debt securities, currency and deposit, as well as trade credit and advance payment.

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