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from Breakingviews:

Sinopec petrol sale attracts a motley bunch

By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Sinopec’s petrol station stake sale could drum up a mixed bunch. The Chinese oil giant is seeking investors to help develop Sinopec Sales, which operates its vast network of filling stations. Prospective buyers from food retail, energy, technology and private equity have been shortlisted, according to Reuters. But the price tag of around $16 billion for a 30 percent stake could force them to club together.

Sinopec Sales operates 30,000 petrol stations. Energy distributors like ENN may see some logic in owning more of China’s fuel delivery network. Yet buyers from a range of other industries see greater potential in developing additional sources of income.

Take retail. Though Sinopec Sales has 23,000 Easy Joy convenience stores, these currently bring in just 1 percent of the group’s revenue. Boosting that figure could be lucrative: for established retailers, profit margins on non-fuel sales are three times higher than the 1.7 percent Sinopec Sales squeezes out at the moment. That explains why Alimentation Couche-Tard, the Canadian owner of Circle K convenience stores, is on the shortlist.

from The Great Debate:

To fight global warming, Stanford should have kept its coal

 coal88

On Tuesday, Stanford University announced that its endowment will not make direct investments in coal companies. Anti-fossil fuel campaigners declared victory.

But is divestment the right move if the goal is to compel companies to alter what they do? Divestment campaigns are great for raising awareness and sparking debate -- but not for getting companies to change their practices.

from Expert Zone:

India Markets Weekahead – It’s a no trade zone for now

(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Indian markets were in a narrow Nifty band of 5550-5650 last week but volatility kept market participants on tenterhooks.

from Money on the markets:

Investors and the IPO craze

The UPA government’s deferred divestment programme seems to have had a smooth take-off. State utility NHPC’s IPO was subscribed 23.5 times at close.

INDIA ENERGYThis is to be followed by an offering from another state heavyweight, Oil India Ltd, on September 7. But what do these high decibel IPOs mean for the stock market and small investors in particular?

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