CNOOK, GE Form Joint PE Fund

(Reuters) – China National Offshore Oil Corp, parent of offshore oil and gas specialist CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK), and General Electric Co (GE.N) are considering setting up a 3 billion yuan ($439 million) private equity fund, the China Daily said, citing sources familiar with the matter.Both companies will hold stakes of 50 percent each in the fund, which will be used for investments in several sectors including domestic and global energy projects, the paper said.

GE could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours. Hong Kong-based CNOOC could also not be immediately reached for comments.

China Daily quoted analysts as saying the move would boost CNOOC’s asset management and investment capabilities. It also lends credence to the offshore oil explorer’s efforts to develop itself into an integrated energy company, the paper said.

In March, China National Offshore Oil Corp, China’s biggest offshore oil explorer, said it will buy a 50 percent stake in Argentina’s Bridas Energy Holdings, for $3.1 billion, in a move by state-backed Chinese firms to secure energy resources to feed China’s fast-growing economy. 

($1=6.827 Yuan) (Reporting by Shrutika Verma in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga)