Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co., an engineering unit of state-owned China Petrochemical Corp., has submitted a listing application to Hong Kong's stock exchange for a US$1.5 billion initial public offering, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday. Beijing-based Sinopec Engineering, which builds petrochemical and refining plants, is aiming for an IPO in the second quarter as it fires up plans to secure more overseas engineering and construction projects. The plan comes as the window for fundraising has reopened, with Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index gaining 5% since December on the back of optimism over China's economic growth and abundant market liquidity.
The listing is part of Sinopec's efforts to internationalize its business after Chairman Fu Chengyu joined the refining giant last year from Cnooc Ltd., a company that has made more progress outside China. Sinopec has been transforming itself into a global oil conglomerate by acquiring energy assets overseas and participating in international oil projects to minimize vulnerability to volatile oil prices.