HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) vice chairman Chen Tonghai said the average cost for acquiring the 663 retail stations from its parent company Sinopec Group Co was 1.55 million yuan each. (US$1=8.28 yuan).

“The average cost was about 1.55 mln yuan each for the gasoline stations,” he told a teleconference.

Sinopec said it will get 663 stations and an oil depot from Sinopec Group through an asset swap, which could boost its pretax profit by 60.36 million yuan a year. The assets are valued at 1.031 billion yuan.

“The stations are distributed in 20 cities,” Mr Chen said.

Sinopec is expected to see its pretax profit boosted by 26.1 million yuan a year following the asset swap as it will no longer need to lease 611 of the 663 stations.

Mr Chen said Sinopec will consider further acquiring assets from its parent company if chances are available.

“We will consider if there are assets with good quality,” he said.

The gasoline stations acquired have an annual throughput of 1,400-1,500 tonnes per year, he added.

Under the agreement, Sinopec will in turn transfer the geology and geophyscial exploration assets of certain oilfields and water plants, with a net asset value of 1.028 billion yuan, to its parent.

The shortfall in value arising from the assets swap totaling 2.132 billion yuan will be paid in cash by the company to its parent. Sinopec said the asset swap is a continuation of a restructuring plan set at the time of its listing.