Hyundai Heavy says Aramco buys 17% stake in S.Korean refiner unit for $1.2bn

State-owned Saudi Aramco has agreed to buy a 13 percent stake in South Korean oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank for $1.24bn. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 15 April 2019

Hyundai Heavy says Aramco buys 17% stake in S.Korean refiner unit for $1.2bn

  • Saudi Aramco reached an agreement to acquire a $1.24 billion stake in South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank
  • It would provide Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company with a dedicated outlet for its crude to South Korea

SEOUL: The biggest shareholder in South Korean oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank said on Monday that state-owned Saudi Aramco had agreed to buy a 17 percent stake in its oil processing operations for 1.4 trillion won ($1.24 billion).
Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said in a regulatory filing that it had signed a sales agreement with Saudi Aramco that included an option for Aramco to buy an additional 2.9 percent stake in Hyundai Oilbank.
The agreement, reached with an Aramco subsidiary, Aramco Overseas Co. B.V (AOC), will support the mother company’s crude oil placement strategy by providing a dedicated outlet for Arabian crude oil to South Korea, Aramco said in a statement.
In late January, Hyundai Heavy said Aramco planned to invest up to $1.6 billion for as much as 19.9 percent of the South Korean refiner to expand its foothold in the country.
Aramco bought the stake in the unlisted refiner for 33,000 won per share, which is slightly lower than its initially planned price, reflecting market conditions, said an official at Hyundai Heavy who provided no further details.
The investment is meant to support Aramco’s broader downstream growth strategy and provide long-term crude oil options and offtakes as part of the company’s trading business, Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Aramco’s senior vice president of downstream, said in the statement.
Hyundai Heavy has said it plans to “reconsider” listing its refinery arm after completing the stake sale.
The Hyundai Heavy official said the company would take its time in deciding whether to go ahead with its refining arm’s public listing, without setting a timeframe.
Hyundai Oilbank, South Korea’s smallest refiner by capacity, has a total of 650,000 barrels per day of refining capacity in the southwestern city of Daesan and aims to expand its petrochemical business.


China says it has sold nearly four billion masks abroad

Updated 39 min 39 sec ago

China says it has sold nearly four billion masks abroad

  • Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies
  • China has also exported 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1
BEIJING: China has sold nearly four billion masks to foreign countries since March, officials said Sunday, as they tried to stem widespread fears over the quality of medical exports.
Despite Chinese cases dwindling, Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies as the pandemic kills over 60,000 globally and parts of the world face a protective equipment shortage.
China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1, customs official Jin Hai said, with orders to more than 50 countries.
She added the country’s medical supply exports were valued at $1.4 billion.
However numerous nations — including the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey and Spain — have complained about substandard or faulty medical products shipped from China.
Last week, the Dutch government recalled 600,000 masks out of a Chinese shipment of 1.3 million that did not meet quality standards.
China said the manufacturer “stated clearly that (the masks) are non-surgical.”
Spain also rejected thousands of rapid test kits sent by an unauthorized Chinese company after it found that they were unreliable last week.
Chinese officials hit back on Sunday at media reports over defective medical supplies, saying that they “did not reflect the full facts.”
“In reality there are various factors, such as China having different standards and different usage habits to other countries. Even improper use can lead to doubts over quality,” said Jiang Fan, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.
The comments echoed remarks from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who over the past week has repeatedly urged Western media not to “politicize” or “hype up” the issue.
Earlier this week, Beijing tightened regulations for exported coronavirus medical equipment, requiring products to fulfil both domestic licensing standards and that of their destination countries.
China has also increased its production capacity of COVID-19 testing kits to over 4 million a day, said Zhang Qi, an official with the National Medical Products Administration.