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Private Firms Urge Greater Access to Oil Products Market
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Foreign and domestic private enterprises are calling for greater access to the Chinese refined oil products wholesale market in response to new market regulations.


Three local petroleum chambers and seven private oil enterprises have sent a letter to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) ahead of an amendment of the regulations, set to be issued at the end of June, which rules that an enterprise must have a minimum of 10 gas stations if it wants to enter the market.


A previous standard issued by the MOC in June last year set the minimum number of gas stations at 30, which aroused strong opposition from many private enterprises.


China will open all its refined oil products market to foreign capital at the end of 2006. At present, more attention is being paid to the qualifications needed to enter the wholesale market.


China has over 10,000 private oil and gas enterprises with assets of over 10 million yuan. Private gas stations account for 53 percent of the country's total.


However, as the wholesale market has been controlled by state-owned enterprises, only a few private oil enterprises have over 10 gas stations.


A circular issued by CITIC Resources Holdings Limited last week said that the agreement under which the company will subscribe for shares which represents 50.5 percent of the enlarged issued share capital of Caltex South China Investments Limited (CSCIL) has fallen through as CITIC Resources had not obtained the approval ofthe Chinese government by last Wednesday.


Listed in Hong Kong, CITIC Resources is regarded as a foreign company despite it's parent company being CITIC Group, a state-owned company of China.


CITIC Group indirectly holds over a 60-percent share of CITIC Resources.


(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2006)


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