State-Owned Enterprise - SOE

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DEFINITION of 'State-Owned Enterprise - SOE'

A legal entity that is created by the government in order to partake in commercial activities on the government's behalf. A state-owned enterprise (SOE) can be either wholly or partially owned by a government and is typically earmarked to participate in commercial activities.

BREAKING DOWN 'State-Owned Enterprise - SOE'

Also known as government-owned corporations (GOC), state-owned entities should not be confused with companies with stocks that are owned in part by a government body, since these companies are truly public corporations which happen to have a government entity as one of their shareholders. SOEs are common across the globe, including in the U.S where mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are considered government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

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