Sinopec OKs overseas listing of marketing unit

A gas station of Sinopec in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, April 21, 2014. Asia’s largest refiner Sinopec announced its preliminary listing plan for its marketing arm on Thursday, a move to further open up the country’s energy markets.Sinopec, the listed arm of China Petrochemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec Group, announced that it has approved the overseas listing of its majority-owned subsidiary Sinopec Marketing Co Ltd on Thursday evening to “further deepen the reform of systems and mechanisms, enhance the competitiveness and the overall enterprise value of the company.”The preliminary plan remains subject to approval by Sinopec Marketing’s board of directors and shareholders, as well as by domestic and foreign regulatory authorities, including the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, it said.”Sinopec announced the introduction of private capital into our oil product marketing business in February 2014, the first among our peers to do so,” said Zhang Haichao, deputy general manager of Sinopec and chairman of Sinopec Marketing.”The planned overseas listing of Sinopec Marketing marks another major milestone in our efforts to fully diversify the ownership of the marketing business, and will accelerate its strategic transformation from an oil product marketer to a comprehensive service provider.”According to the company, the number of overseas-listed shares to be issued will be 10 percent of the total share capital after issuance.The final offering price will be negotiated and determined together by Sinopec Marketing’s board of directors.Proceeds raised from the listing will be used to boost the development of the issuer’s primary businesses, as well as optimizing the asset-liabilities structure, it said.The company will retain a majority shareholding in Sinopec Marketing upon completion of the overseas listing.Sinopec Marketing is expected to continuously improve its profitability, and the profit of Sinopec Marketing attributable to the company is expected to increase, which will help improve the overall financial performance of the company.Sinopec Marketing is primarily engaged in storage and logistics, retail sales, direct sales and distribution of petroleum products such as refined oil products, natural gas for automobile and fuel oil, as well as development and operation of emerging business, including convenience stores, e-commerce and auto services.