March 18, 2012 / 8:55 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Total says China has not taken a new stake in it

(recasts with Total denial)

NEW YORK/PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have not taken a new stake in France’s Total, a source from the oil and gas company said on Sunday, denying a report in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal, citing an interview with Total’s chief executive, Christophe de Margerie, said the company had reached a pact with China’s Sinopec to search for and produce shale gas, and that China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange now owned 2 percent of the French group.

Total’s CEO would not have “any problem” if sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp wanted to take a further stake, the report said.

“The Chinese have not taken a stake in Total since April 2008,” a source at Total told Reuters, adding, “There’s nothing new.”

The Chinese took a 2 percent stake in Total at that time. (Reporting By Nick Zieminski and Muriel Boselli; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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