PetroChina could make bid for China Gas: report

HONG KONG (Reuters) – PetroChina Co Ltd (0857.HK: Quote, Profile, Research)(601857.SS: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s second-biggest oil and gas producer by market value, is considering a bid for troubled natural gas distributor China Gas Holdings Ltd (0384.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), the Financial Times reported on Friday.

PetroChina was working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on the acquisition, although it had not been formally mandated, the Financial Times quoted unidentified sources as saying.

PetroChina could buy China Gas on its own or acquire it through its natural gas unit Kunlun Energy Co Ltd (0135.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), the Financial Times said.

PetroChina officials in Beijing declined comment.

Late last year, China Gas Managing and Executive Director Liu Ming Hui and Executive President Huang Yong were detained by police in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen for suspected “embezzlement of the assets of an organization in which they have duties.”

China Gas, 9.7 percent owned by South Korea’s SK Group, the parent of SK Holdings (003600.KS: Quote, Profile, Research), said it had found no indication of any irregularities involving the recent material movement of cash or funds after a preliminary internal review.

(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee and Farah Master; Editing by Chris Lewis)

PetroChina could make bid for China Gas: report