October 24, 2017 / 3:59 AM / in 10 months

Sinochem to re-evaluate oil exploration business, expand fine chemicals: chairman

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Sinochem Group is reviewing its struggling oil exploration business and plans expansions into material and life sciences over the next decade in major strategy shift, the chairman of the state-run conglomerate said.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Sinochem is seen outside an office building of Sinochem in Beijing, China, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

Last week, Reuters reported that Sinochem had retained three banks to work on a possible listing of its oil refining, fuel marketing, and trading and storage assets while the upstream oil business might be sold to the government.

“Based on current market conditions, we are re-evaluating our strategy in the upstream oil and gas business,” Ning said in an email to Reuters in response to interview questions sent on Monday as part of the 19th Communist Party Congress taking place in Beijing this week.

Sinochem has tapped Morgan Stanley, Citic Securities and BOC International to work on the possible Hong Kong listing to raise capital and revive the company, Reuters reported.

Sinochem aims to build itself into a conglomerate using petrochemicals as the foundation but led by material science and life sciences, a change from previously “scattered resource allocation and lack of focus in core businesses,” said Ning.

The new business strategy comes as Sinochem is anticipated to merge with China National Chemicals Corp, or ChemChina, under a state-orchestrated restructuring to join the companies.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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