September 6, 2016 / 5:15 AM / 4 years ago

CNPC selling $11 billion in financial assets to listed unit in reform push

BEIJING (Reuters) - China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country’s largest state energy group, will sell $11 billion worth of financial assets to a listed unit as part of the state giant’s reform plan to restructure its non-core businesses.

Under Beijing’s broad reform agenda to make its state-owned enterprises more efficient and competitive, CNPC [CNPET.UL] has said it will restructure non-core departments, such as oilfield services, engineering and financial operations, and list them on stock exchanges.

Jinan Diesel Engine, a unit under CNPC, said late on Monday that it plans to buy certain financial assets in CNPC for 75.5 billion yuan ($11.3 billion) via cash, asset swaps and a share issue.

The unit, listed on the Shenzhen exchange, said it aims to raise up to 19 billion yuan in a private placement of shares to fund the acquisition.

CNPC is also the parent of PetroChina <0857,HK>, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer.

“It’s part of the company’s stated restructuring of non-core units. CNPC is using the Jinan firm as the shell for listing its financial assets,” said a Hong Kong-based oil and gas analyst, who declined to be named due to company policy.

The assets CNPC is selling to the listed unit include the state group’s holdings in CNPC Finance, Bank of Kunlun, Kunlun Financial Leasing, Bank of China International and others, according to a filing by Jinan Diesel Engine.

In a similar move, Sinopec Group in 2014 transferred its oilfield service business to listed unit Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Co Ltd.

Earlier expectations had been for a radical “big bang” shake-up of China’s state energy firms, but Beijing has instead taken smaller steps such as pilot privatization projects and letting companies restructure assets internally.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Tom Hogue

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