Lukoil has agreed to sell its stake in several oil projects in Kazakhstan to Sinopec for $1.2bn, in the latest of a string of Chinese investments in the country’s energy sector. The Russian company – the country’s largest private-sector oil producer – said the purpose of the sale was to “optimize Lukoil’s overseas hydrocarbon asset portfolio”.

But the deal is also symbolic of China’s rapid expansion in Central Asia, part of Russia’s traditional “sphere of influence”. Read more

Sinopec has taken advantage of a huge demand for Asian debt by selling the second biggest ever US dollar bond deal in the region – and the biggest ever out of mainland China – at a lower interest rate than the Chinese government itself pays for similar debt. Read more

Last week’s HK$24bn ($3bn) placement for China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, was a striking deal for its sheer size. But perhaps it was most remarkable for the fact that it involved only one bookrunner.

Talk to any equity or debt capital markets banker in Asia and they will swiftly raise a familiar gripe: the trend to put far more bookrunners on a straightforward deal than ever used to be the case. Read more

More good news for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, this time courtesy of China Petroleum & Chemical, better known as Sinopec.

The state-owned refiner – Asia’s largest – said in a filing on Monday that it planned to sell 2.85bn “H -shares” on the HK market at a price of HK$8.45 ($1.09) in order to raise HK$23.9bn ($3.1bn).

The offer price represents a 9.5 per cent discount to the group’s closing price in HK on Monday. Read more

Shale gas has the potential to transform the global gas industry. A lot of it is to be found in emerging markets, home to seven of the 10 biggest shale gas reserves worldwide. So you’d expect the world’s “supermajors” to be lining up for their slice of the cake.

Sure thing, says Christopher Haines, energy specialist at visiongain, a business information provider. But oil and gas companies from the developed world won’t have it all to themselves. Chinese and Indian companies will take their share, too – though other EM players may be left out. Read more

What if, what if…

Would Argentina have been so bold as to expropriate YPF if Repsol’s stake had been in Chinese hands? According to an FT exclusive, Repsol was in talks with Sinopec to sell its YPF stake. Thumbing your nose at an old colonial master mired in the eurozone debt crisis is one thing. But telling China to get lost? That’s a different proposition. Read more

Few companies embody the sheer size and ambition of the Chinese state-owned enterprise like Sinopec, China’s biggest oil and gas refiner. Not only is Sinopec one of the world’s biggest oil companies by asset size, it is also the single most acquisitive Chinese state-owned company, having invested more than $35bn in overseas deals since 2009.

But for Sinopec Group’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, which is majority-owned by Sinopec Group, the past year has not been smooth sailing. Read more