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China Top Offshore Oil Firm To Reduce Government's Stake

Fu Chengyu said it was very likely that it could ask the government to reduce its stake

China's top offshore oil producer, CNOOC Ltd., may ask the government to cut its stake in the company to remove an obstacle to overseas acquisitions, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

In an interview with the British newspaper, the company's chief executive Fu Chengyu said it was very likely that it could ask the government to reduce its stake as part of an overseas deal.

CNOOC's listed unit dropped an unsolicited US$18.5 billion bid for U.S. oil firm Unocal in August after fierce political opposition.

Chengyu said one idea would be for the government to retain a golden share which would allow it to veto takeovers of strategically important companies.