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[FRANKFURT] British oil major BP is seeking buyers for its 50 per cent stake in a Chinese petrochemicals joint venture, its single largest investment in China, in a deal that would fetch US$2-3 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
BP has hired an investment bank to sell its shareholding in Secco as part of a drive to cash out of businesses where it lacks control, the people added. A successful deal would mark BP's first significant exit from a business in China.
Situated in Caojing near Shanghai, Secco is China's largest petrochemicals refinery and was built at a cost of US$2.7 billion in 2001, according to BP's website.
State-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) and one of its units hold the other half of Secco, according to the website.
A London-based BP spokesman declined to comment, and Sinopec did not offer immediate comment.