PetroChina Co. (857), operator of the country’s largest pipeline network, will sell assets valued at 39 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) as the government continues with steps to open state-owned enterprises to private investment.
The company will transfer to a separate unit assets including the First and Second West-East Gas Pipelines, which carry natural gas from central Asian countries and the energy-rich province of Xinjiang to China’s eastern cities, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. The unit will be sold at a public tender on an equity exchange.
President Xi Jinping is pushing the most aggressive moves in more than a decade to increase market forces in the economy. The sale is the first step after Chairman Zhou Jiping said in March PetroChina is considering opening up areas including pipelines, oil and gas exploration and refining to private investment.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386), Asia’s biggest refiner known as Sinopec, plans to sell a 30 percent state in its retail unit, which includes the nation’s biggest network of fuel stations, in a deal that could raise as much as $30 billion. State-controlled Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. is also seeking partnerships with private companies.
PetroChina rose 0.6 percent to HK$8.99 in Hong Kong today, before the announcement. The shares have gained 5.8 percent this year, compared with a 4.5 percent decline in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.
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