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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 10:59 GMT
BP buys stake in China fuel firm
Aircraft being refuelled at Beijing International Airport
China Aviation Oil is China's main supplier of aviation fuel
BP is buying a stake in China's main jet fuel importer China Aviation Oil (CAO) for an, as yet, undisclosed sum.

A spokesman for CAO, which is turning itself around after near collapse last year, also declined to give any details on the size of the stake BP is buying.

Reports say the UK's BP is buying 23% of CAO, which is based in Singapore but majority owned by Chinese state firm China Aviation Oil Holding Company.

CAO ran up huge losses last year betting on the future price of oil.

It lost about $550m (320m) during the scandal, the biggest to hit Singapore since the $1.2bn collapse of Barings Bank in 1995.

Fast-growing market

The new deal will allow BP, the world's second largest oil company, to increase its small presence in China's tightly state-controlled, but fast-growing, oil market, now the second largest in the world.


BP currently owns a 24% stake in another Chinese jet oil company, South China Bluesky Aviation Oil, which supplies 15 civilian airports.

A BP spokeswoman said the company was not immediately able to comment.

BP boss Lord Browne visited China at the start of this month, meeting government officials and executives from the country's three largest oil producers.

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