BEIJING Two senior oil traders at Sinopec Corp (0386.HK) have resigned, with one set to join a private Chinese e-commerce commodity platform, two sources at the top Asian refiner told Reuters.
Xu Qing is leaving his post as vice president of Sinopec Fuel Oil Sales Co to become a senior executive with privately-owned ChinaYIE, a Shanghai-based online commodity platform active in chemicals trading, according to the sources. They declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak with media.
ChinaYIE, which also trades non-ferrous metals and steel, recorded annual trade turnover of 167.4 billion yuan ($24 billion) last year, according to its website. Calls to the company's main line went unanswered.
Xu was previously the Singapore-based head of Asia operations for Unipec, Sinopec's trading company that competes with independent traders such as Vitol and oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell
The sources added that Ren Shiye, with some 15 years experience in physical and paper trading of refined fuels like diesel and kerosene, had quit as deputy head of Unipec's products team several weeks ago and it is not clear which company he will join next.
Xu declined to comment. Ren was not immediately available for comment.
Sinopec's spokesman Lu Dapeng did not comment specifically on the moves, but said talent turnaround is a normal phenomenon for global companies.
Private Chinese entities are becoming magnets for luring seasoned traders away from state-owned energy firms like Sinopec, while global trading houses like Vitol and Trafigura [TRAFG.UL] used to be more popular.
"Private Chinese entities are culturally easier to adapt to, while western trading houses tend to be overly profit-driven," said a Beijing-based senior oil trader.
One of Unipec's most senior departures was its former head of crude trading Cui Zhenchu, now with CEFC China Energy, a rapidly growing privately-run oil and finance conglomerate.
A recent boom in China's independent oil refineries has led to dozens of oil traders at state-owned companies moving to join these small, nimble companies, as well as majors and trading houses expanding to deal with these firms.
(Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger)