UPDATE 1-China gives go-head for two largest shipbuilders to merge - Bloomberg

Bloomberg@ (Adds statements from the shipbuilders' units in paras 3-4)

SHANGHAI, March 30 (Reuters) - China's cabinet has given preliminary approval to merge the country's two largest shipbuilders, China State Shipbuilding Corp with China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

It said the move, which will create a firm that will dwarf its South Korean rivals such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co , could still be subject to change as many details needed to be ironed out by ministries and regulators.

Later on Friday, a slew of units belonging to the two companies, such as CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering Group Co Ltd, CSSC Science & Technology Co Ltd and China Harzone Industry Corp Ltd issued similar statements to clarify on media reports.

"We consulted our controlling shareholder China Shipping Industry on the matter and received its reply saying that it had not received any documents from any government departments regarding the merger between the two shipping companies," China Harzone said.

The two companies have multiple shipyards across China whose products range from aircraft carriers to commercial ships which carry oil and gas.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh ad Hong Kong newsroom Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Richard Balmforth)