BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
UBS urged to drop Chinese listing
By Martin Plaut
Africa editor, BBC World Service

PetroChina owned oil refinery
China's largest oil firm is looking to expand internationally

Human rights activists, including actress Mia Farrow and a number of Nobel Prize winners, are appealing to Swiss bank UBS to end its role in launching PetroChina on the Shanghai stock exchange.

PetroChina is controlled by the China National Petroleum Corporation, the largest operator in the Sudanese oil industry.

The letter, signed by personalities including Senator Romeo Dallaire, the former UN commander in Rwanda, and Mukesh Kapila, former UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Sudan, expresses deep concern at the role of UBS in the launch of PetroChina.

Pressure

The signatories say that the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation provides revenue to the Sudanese government - helping pay for its war in Darfur. In addition, they accuse the company of benefiting from the forced displacement of locals from oil concessions.

And they say the company allows the Sudanese military to use landing strips and refuelling facilities in its oil concessions.

In reply UBS says it cannot discuss the work of its clients, but points out that although CNPC is a controlling shareholder in PetroChina they are two separate legal entities.

The bank maintains it neither deals with clients in Sudan, nor with companies that generate a significant share of their revenue from Sudan.

Nick Donovan, of the Aegis Trust, which is launching the letter, described the UBS position as no more than a legal fig leaf.

Aegis Trust is appealing to members of the public to put pressure on the bank to change its stand.

SEE ALSO
Buffett sells PetroChina shares
19 Oct 07 |  Business
China claims major oil field find
04 May 07 |  Business
Chinese oil firm plans share sale
20 Jun 07 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific