BP (LON:BP) has inked a deal to sell its 50-percent stake in in the Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company Limited, the blue-chip company has said. The news comes after the blue-chip oil major recently sold the North Sea’s biggest pipeline.
BP’s share price has fallen into the red in today’s session having shed 1.36 percent to 447.50p as of 13:22 BST, underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.55 percent worse off at 7,248.72 points. The group’s shares have gained more than 17 percent over the past year, but have given up some 12 percent in the year-to-date.
BP announced in a statement today that it had agreed to sell its 50-percent stake to Gaoqiao Petrochemical, a 100-percent subsidiary of China’s Sinopec, for a total consideration of $1.68 billion.
“This decision aligns our petrochemicals business in China with our global focus on areas where BP has leading proprietary technologies and competitive advantage,” Rita Griffin, Chief Operating Officer, BP Global Petrochemicals, commented in the statement, adding that China remained a key region for the group’s chemicals business and “BP will continue to look for opportunities to build on our position in the country”.
Today’s news comes after BP sold the North Sea’s biggest pipeline to petrochemical giant Ineos earlier this month. The company is also reportedly considering offloading stakes in three Canadian oil sands projects as it looks to retreat from its non-core businesses.
As of April 21, the consensus forecast amongst 30 polled investment analysts covering BP for the Financial Times has it that the company will outperform the market. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip oil major currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 519.40p. BP is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter results on May 2.