HONG KONG Asia's largest refiner Sinopec Corp (0386.HK) posted a 20 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, beating forecasts, boosted by higher refining margins after China allowed domestic fuel prices to move more closely in line with global crude prices.
Net profit at Sinopec (600028.SS) (SNP.N) rose to 22.0 billion yuan ($3.62 billion) from 18.3 billion yuan a year earlier.
The figure beat an average forecast of 19.6 billion yuan by five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
China implemented a more flexible fuel pricing mechanism in March, the first major revamp in four years, to help avoid fuel shortages and tame consumption.
But Chinese refiners still cannot fully pass on higher crude costs to consumers because the government controls oil prices to help curb inflation. ($1 = 6.0855 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Charlie Zhu; Editing by Miral Fahmy)