The Chinese yuan, also known as the renminbi, is already convertible under the current account - the broadest measure of trade in goods and services. However, the capital account, which covers portfolio investment and borrowing, is still closely managed by Beijing because of worries about abrupt capital flows.
State Grid earnings surge to 47.1b yuan
State Grid Corp of China, the mainland's largest power distributor, said earnings surged 75 per cent last year to a record amid rising electricity demand from the world's fastest-growing major economy.
Profit at the Beijing-based company rose to 47.1 billion yuan on turnover of one trillion yuan, an official at the firm's external department said, confirming a report by Bloomberg.
The official said the result was only preliminary and still subject to an internal audit.
Installed power-generating capacity on the mainland, the world's fourth-largest economy, rose 14.36 per cent to a record 713 gigawatts at the end of last year, as output was expanded to solve years of shortages.
The country spent 549.29 billion yuan building power plants and grids last year to meet demand in an economy that grew about 11.5 per cent in the period, according to the China Electricity Council.
Power output increased 14.44 per cent to 3.25 billion megawatt-hours last year, slightly above demand of 3.24 billion MWh, which surged 14.42 per cent.
State Grid, which owns all but five power grids in southern provinces, invested 213 billion yuan to expand its transmission network last year, up 20 per cent year on year, according to a statement posted on its website.
Smaller rival China Southern Power Grid, owner and operator of power distribution networks in five provinces in the southern region, invested 42.4 billion yuan to expand its transmission network, up 13.4 per cent, a statement posted on the website of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said.
Southern Grid posted a profit of about 16 billion yuan last year, up from about 8.5 billion yuan in 2006, vice-president Xiao Peng said on Tuesday.
Investment in the country's electricity transmission might reach 1.8 trillion yuan between 2006 and 2010, higher than the government forecast of 1.2 trillion yuan, Credit Suisse said in a report last month.
The nation invested 695 billion yuan in grid construction between 2001 and 2005.
Installed electricity generation capacity rose to a record 713 gigawatts
State Grid's investment in transmission network last year, in yuan: 213b yuan