Leading mainland-backed conglomerate China Resources (Holdings) (CRH) has unveiled a major overhaul aimed at streamlining the operations of its locally listed companies. The announcement is seen as part of mainland companies' efforts to beef up management and efficiency ahead of expected entry to the World Trade Organisation later this year. CRH - the unlisted SAR conglomerate of the powerful foreign trade ministry - has five main locally listed arms, including flagship China Resources Enterprises (CRE). CRE is a heavyweight itself, involved in trading, property and food distribution. CRH chairman Gu Yongjiang said yesterday that the restructuring efforts would involve asset reorganisations and would span two to three years. As a key focus of the restructuring plan, CRE will be injected with trading and distribution assets from its parent. The assets include petroleum distribution operations, trading and logistics services. The aim was to turn CRE into the premier distribution company in Asia. Ng Fung Hong - which has the exclusive right to import fresh, live and frozen foodstuffs from the mainland - will remain under CRE, according to Mr Gu. However, he indicated CRE might sell its non-core operations such as property developer China Resources Beijing Land and Logic International Holdings, a furniture company, back to its parent. CRE would also cease to take part in property development, the company's major income source, according to Mr Gu. 'After completing its current real estate project [Villa Esplanada in Tsing Yi], China Resources Enterprises will not make any new property developments in Hong Kong,' he said. He said the group was not pessimistic about the Hong Kong property market but had decided the sector was not conducive to the company's long-term strategy. However, the group would hold on to some Hong Kong property developments for its own use. It has 1.2 million square feet of investment property. However, the group did not clearly state whether its investment in Hongkong International Terminal and HKCB Bank Holding would remain as part of CRE's business. CRH would also consider injecting some of its technology projects into Logic International Holdings. The furniture producer and trader will become the high-technology investment arm of the CRH group which has an annual turnover of US$5 billion and total assets of about 50 billion yuan (about HK$46.5 billion), according to Mr Gu. Analysts said the restructuring was not unexpected. They did not believe the announcement would create huge excitement unless the group released details of the asset injections. They also raised concerns about CRE's ability to sustain its profitability after it shifted its focus to e-commerce and dropped its main source of income - the property sector. In the past few years, its 55 per cent interest in the Villa Esplanada project provided a significant contribution to the group's annual profits. The company said the profit contribution from the project would be smaller in the next two years but it would still gain a 19 per cent return on investment this year. As part of the group's e-commerce expansion, CRE will launch in September a business-to-business portal involving construction, petrochemical, garment, food & beverage business. The restructuring proposal was first disclosed by CRE two months ago, when it announced a net profit of HK$1.44 billion for the year to December.