Date
23 September 2017
PetroChina benefited from higher global oil prices in the first half. Photo:  Reuters
PetroChina benefited from higher global oil prices in the first half. Photo: Reuters

PetroChina to pay shareholders entire first-half profit

PetroChina Co. (00857.HK, 601857.CN) has decided to pay shareholders its entire half-year net income amounting to almost 12.7 billion yuan (US$1.9 billion), Bloomberg reports.

While seen as a one-time payout, and small relative to international majors, the move raised expectations of more investor rewards this year from China’s state-owned giants, the report said.

Earnings by the biggest explorers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. improved as oil prices in the first half averaged about 30 percent higher than a year ago, near US$53 a barrel.

Other state-owned enterprises such as China Mobile Ltd. (00941.HK) and coal miner China Shenhua Energy Co. (01088.HK, 601088.CN) are also making similar surprise payouts, luring investors and shifting cash back to state coffers.

PetroChina is 86 percent owned by its unlisted parent, China National Petroleum Corp., which is ultimately controlled by the government.

“The generous dividend payout was a gesture to please shareholders in a subdued oil market,” Tian Miao, a Beijing-based senior analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial Ltd., told Bloomberg.

“CNPC will pocket a nice payment as well. PetroChina’s growth will continue into second half of the year as it finds a way to keep cutting operation costs.”

PetroChina’s interim and special dividends totaled more than 0.069 yuan per share, nearly triple the forecast for almost 0.025 yuan for the period.

Its earnings beat an expected 10.6 billion yuan profit based on the average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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CG

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