China's Sinochem chief dismisses ChemChina merger reports as 'rumour'

People use an escalator outside the headquarters of ChemChina (China National Chemical Corporation) in Beijing, China, February 4, 2005. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Media reports of a merger of Chinese state-owned chemical firms Sinochem Group and ChemChina, which is finalising a $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticides and seed group Syngenta SYNN.S are just rumours, Sinochem Group Chairman Ning Gaoning said.

Sources told Reuters in October that Sinochem and ChemChina were in discussions about a possible merger to create a chemicals, fertiliser and oil giant with almost $100 billion in annual revenue.

“No, no, it has been a rumour for a long while,” said Sinochem Group’s chairman, when asked if his company planned to acquire ChemChina, at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong.

The reports of a possible merger of the two Chinese companies triggered concerns it could complicate China National Chemicals Corp's (ChemChina) acquisition of Syngenta SYNN.S, which would be the country's largest-ever foreign takeover.

Reporting by Jessica Macy Yu and Julie Zhu; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Louise Heavens