China and Britain have agreed to actively explore the possibility of discussing a top notch free trade agreement. According to Reuters, the China Commerce Ministry said on Saturday that the countries discussed last week how to boost the two-way investments and expand trade in services. The British Trade Minister Liam Fox and the Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Sham met last week in Beijing.
The UK has said earlier that it aims to grow the export to 35 % of the gross domestic product after leaving the EU. The official talks of the free trade cannot begin until Britain has left the Union. The departing time is Friday 29th March 2019, at 11 pm. There is also the new transition period from the March 2019 to December 2020 to get everything in place and allow businesses to prepare for the new post-Brexit time.
It seems that during last week there has been some progress in the trade disputes. For example according to Reuters the Chinese Unipec, which is a trading company of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (386: HK) (Sinopec), would resume the purchases of US Crude Oil in October. This would be the start of the buying after two-month delivery stops due to the trade tarffis talks.
Sinopec is one of the largest buyer of US Crude Oil. The company has also launched its Green Action Plan, which means that the company is aiming to become a clean, efficient and low-carbon company by 2023. This means for example that the share of its clean energy output would grow in the energy mix and for example LNG transfer capacity would reach more that 26 million tonnes a year and geothermal heating would reach 120-150 million square meters by 2023. This would mean geothermal heating to about 2,1 million urban residents.
The company said that the half-year earnings were at the highest level on record due to the profits in refining and rebound in crude prices. According to Bloomberg, net income was 42,4 billion yuan in the first 6 months. Operating profit from the refining business was up 32,5 % to 38,9 billion yuan and the chemical segment showed a 29,7 percent gain.
Revenue rose 11,5 percent to 1,3 trillion yuan and capital expenditures were 23,7 billion yuan in the first half compared with the full-year estimate of 117 billion yuan. Sinopec made the filing to Shanghai Stock Exchange today on Sunday.