April 27, 2017 / 12:27 PM / 3 years ago

BP sells stake in China petrochemical venture to Sinopec for $1.7 billion

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - BP (BP.L) has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in the Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Company to a subsidiary of its joint venture partner Sinopec (0386.HK)(600028.SS) for $1.68 billion (1.31 billion pounds), the British oil major said.

The sale represents BP’s first major divestment of a year in which it expects to sell assets worth between $4.5 billion and $5.5 billion this year.

It said it decided to sell out of the business because it wants to focus on areas where BP has proprietary technologies that give them a competitive advantage. However, the company said it remains open to potential chemicals deals in China.

“China is a key region for our chemicals business and BP will continue to look for opportunities to build on our position in the country,” said Rita Griffin, chief operating officer of BP’s global petrochemicals division.

The oil major said it intends to use the funds raised from the SECCO sale for general corporate purposes.

Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Goodman

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