British Petroleum confirmed that a Hong Kong branch of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has bought just under 1% of the energy giant’s shares, AFP reported. A BP spokesperson said that SAFE Investment Company Limited had purchased the stake over the past few months, but declined to give any further details. It is estimated the sale could be worth more than US$2 billion based on BP’s current market capitalization of US$204 billion. SAFE oversees China’s foreign exchange reserves, which stood at US$1.68 trillion at the end of March. The weakening dollar and the emergence of rival China Investment Corp has led SAFE to invest more aggressively. Earlier this month it was revealed the agency purchased a 1.6% stake in French oil group Total.
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