JX Holdings Plans Shift to Chemicals, Materials Amid Drop in Oil

JX Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest refiner, will cut spending by almost 25 percent as part of a three-year plan that will also see the company try to counter the decline in oil prices with a shift away from oil-based products.

JX, which currently gets most of its revenue from refining, plans to spend 1 trillion yen ($8.1 billion) from 2016 to 2019 on capital expenditures, 300 billion yen less than it had planned in the 3-year period that began in 2012.

The Tokyo-based company, which produces, refines and distributes petroleum products, will try to boost profit by focusing on chemical products and raw materials as it explores possible mergers and acquisitions, Shigeo Tabashi, a company spokesman, said by phone.

The Japanese refiner’s spending plans were earlier reported by the Nikkei.

JX’s revenue fell 26 percent in the quarter ended March 31 as the price of oil-derived products plummeted to record lows.

JX Holdings is following Asia’s biggest refiner, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. The Chinese company has been exploring ways to diversify its business away from oil products, the company’s head of investor relations, Chen Yang, said during an April 30 conference call.

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