State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is reportedly interested in buying a stake in Russia’s Rosneft.
According to Wall Street Journal, CNPC Deputy Chief Executive Wang Zhongcai said Thursday during a visit to Moscow that his company is interested in acquiring a stake in Russia’s largest oil firm.
Wang added that Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping are expected to discuss a potential acquisition.
The acquisition could help strengthen ties between Russia and China, one of the largest consumers of Russian oil.
China imported about 1.13 million barrels of crude per day in December 2015, a 29 percent year-over-year increase, according to Reuters.
Rosneft has expressed interest in selling a 19.5 percent stake as low oil prices and a global crude glut squeeze the company’s coffers.
The Russian govnerment has pegged the value of the stake at about $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal said.
In March, Rosneft sold a 29.9 percent stake in its Taas-Yuriakh subsidiary to a consortium of three companies based in India, the Financial Times said.
Rosneft became the most valuable company in Russia earlier this month after its stock rose to 320 rubles per share.
Rosneft currently has a market capitalization of about $51.7 billion, just edging slightly ahead of Gazprom’s $51 billion market capitalization, according to RT.