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June 25, 2017

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China completes state aircraft makers' merger

SHANGHAI -- China has merged two major state aircraft makers as it consolidates its aerospace industry in the hope of creating a global player, state media reported on Monday.

The new company, China Aviation Industry Corp, was created by the merger of China Aviation Industry Corp. I, or AVIC I, and AVIC II, the Shanghai Securities News reported, citing company officials. Company officials contacted by AFP would not immediately comment on the report.

The long-anticipated merger was announced in June and officially completed on Saturday, the report said.

The newly combined company hopes to see annual sales growth of 22.3 percent and annual sales of one trillion yuan (US$146.5 billion) by 2017, the report said, citing the firm's deputy general manager Tan Ruisong.

The company has total assets of about 290 billion yuan and annual sales of about 150 billion yuan, Tan was quoted as saying.

The company, which controls 21 listed firms and has 10 business units including defense, transport planes, helicopters and engines, also aims to list its entire assets within the next five years.

China has said it aims to build large aircrafts such as passenger jets with more than 150 seats, fanning expectations that it could eventually compete against Boeing and Airbus.

The new company also holds a stake in Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, which was established in May to build jumbo jets and has developed the country's first home-made regional aircraft, the ARJ21.

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