China Huatong Distribution & Industry Development Corp (Group), the distribution arm of the mainland's internal trade bureau under the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC), has slowed plans to increase its stake in Hong Kong listed Ocean-Land Group. Ocean-Land executive director Chung Ho said China Huatong had not made any progress in boosting its interest in the company as it had to concentrate on work to sever its link with the internal trade bureau under Beijing's policy of separating business from government. China Huatong took an 11 per cent stake in Ocean-Land in March through the sale of its interest in a heating supply system trader to Ocean-Land. Its officials said at the time it was keen to take a substantial stake in Ocean-Land which some sources suggested would mean at least 20 per cent. Ocean-Land chairman Yuen Wai expected China Huatong would have to wait until the completion of the separation from the bureau at the end of the month before it could afford the time to return to the issue. Under Beijing's plan, China Huatong would be transferred from the internal trade bureau to the 1,000 big enterprises working committee under the SETC, which Mr Yuen said would only be conducive to its plan to enlarge its shareholding in Ocean-Land. 'Originally it would have to seek the approval for increasing its shareholding from many government bodies. Now it only needs to obtain the approval from one government body,' he said.