China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec, 00386.HK, 600028.CN), Asia’s top refiner, has held talks with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (0700.HK) on a possible shareholding link-up with the refiner’s sales operations, China National Radio reported on Wednesday.
Sinopec chairman Fu Chengyu met with Tencent president Liu Zhiping at Sinopec’s Beijing headquarters on Aug. 7 and exchanged ideas on mutual cooperation, according to a statement posted on the refiner’s website.
Fu briefed Liu on the assets of Sinopec’s sales unit and expressed resolve to introduce social capital into the operations, while Liu inquired details on possible cooperation, an unnamed source was quoted as saying.
Sinopec announced in February that it would bring in social and private capital to market and sell its oil products as part of efforts to establish a mixed ownership structure, signaling its desire to open up a largely monopolized sector.
On June 30, the company completed an evaluation of its assets and liabilities to pave the way for the first round of tender for external investment, the report said, adding that Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are among the possible bidders.
Sinopec’s sales unit owns more than 30,000 gas stations with assets exceeding 341.7 billion yuan (US$55.56 billion) at the end of June, according to company data.
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