China's anti-graft watchdog carries out inspections at five state enterprises

BEIJING (REUTERS)- China's top anti-graft watchdog said on Friday it had carried out inspections at five major state-owned enterprises in industries ranging from mining to energy, as the ruling Communist Party expands its anti-corruption dragnet.

Sinochem Group, China Minmetals Corp and power company China Datang were among the latest companies to be probed by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the agency said late on Friday.

The watchdog said it warned companies against transgressions such as having slush funds, blindly investing in projects outside their sectors, and company officials using joint ventures to "transfer interests", without further elaboration.

As part of President Xi Jinping's two-year crackdown on corruption, the CCDI has pledged to inspect "all important backbone state-owned firms and financial institutions" this year.

More than 70 senior officials lost their positions at state firms in 2014 after being investigated by the watchdog, which has carried out inspections in the energy, telecom and financial sectors.