The mainland's securities regulator, which has been encouraging restructuring among listed firms, yesterday said it had set up a new oversight committee to review mergers and acquisitions to make sure they benefited the companies and the market. The China Securities Regulatory Commission said restructuring some of the public companies would eventually benefit the national economy. 'Asset restructurings have played a positive role in helping optimise the country's industrial structure and boosting industrial might,' CSRC chairman Shang Fulin (right) said. He said the capital market had provided a good platform for merger and acquisition deals in the past few years. The committee will be responsible for screening the applications to see that they benefit the listed firms and the market, ensuring that healthy firms take over weaker ones. From 2006 to June this year, 123 mainland-listed firms had conducted restructurings involving assets worth 833.4 billion yuan (HK$945.9 billion), Shang said. He said the move to encourage more mergers and acquisitions was in line with the central government's guideline to buoy the economy. A CSRC official said earlier this year that one of the regulator's key tasks for the year was to introduce more policies to boost asset restructurings. This follows failed market liberalisations, such as the introduction of a margin trading mechanism. Beijing has decided to return to the basics to support the market - improving public firms' fundamentals. Potential moves include ordering state-owned parents to inject profitable assets into their listed arms and engineering more back-door listings to replace loss-makers or lacklustre firms, analysts said. To date, several state-owned industrial giants, such as Aluminum Corp of China and China State Shipbuilding, have completed overhauls, enhancing their competitiveness in the global market. In June, the State Council approved China Eastern Airlines Corp's merger with its rival Shanghai Airlines, a move to rescue the two loss-making carriers. Analysts said more mega-merger deals were in the pipeline as Beijing hoped to spur the stock market, which dived 65.4 per cent last year. 'It is an efficient way to boost the overall quality of listed companies,' said Essence Securities analyst Liu Jun. 'More importantly, it's a good method to resolve the legacy issue.' Liu was referring to the 1990s, when many state firms were given approval to raise funds on the stock market as Beijing strove to underpin the ailing companies.