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Sinopec Said to Seek $16 Billion From Investors for Retail Unit

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., owner of more than 30,000 gas stations in the country, is seeking to raise 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) selling about a one-third stake in its retail unit, people familiar with the matter said.

The sale would pave the way for an eventual listing of the unit, the two people said, asking not to be named because the information hasn’t been made public. China Petroleum, or Sinopec, said in February it was looking to sell as much as 30 percent of the business as the government encourages more private investment in state-owned industries.

About 20 companies are bidding for the stake in the unit, Sinopec Sales, which Asia’s biggest refiner values at 300 billion yuan, the people said. Sinopec disclosed rules on how it was screening investors on June 30.

Sinopec’s Beijing-based spokesman didn’t answer two calls to his office seeking comment.

Sinopec Sales had net income of 25.1 billion yuan in 2013 on revenue of 1.5 trillion yuan, according to the company. Barclays Plc estimated the refiner could raise as much as $20 billion from the sale, according to a note to investors immediately after the February announcement.

China Taiping Insurance struck a separate deal with Sinopec in May to offer financial products at 1,500 fuel-station convenience stores by the end of the year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aibing Guo in Hong Kong at aguo10@bloomberg.net; Bloomberg News in Beijing at emailtv@bloomberg.net; Steven Yang in Beijing at kyang74@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net Madelene Pearson

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