Will PetroChina (PTR) Stock Be Affected By Possible Change To Natural Gas Pipeline Unit Auction?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- PetroChina Co.  (PTR) is rethinking a plan to auction off its multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline unit, and could instead sell it to an affiliate, sources told Reuters.

Selling PetroChina Eastern Pipelines Co. to the affiliate, 50% owned by PetroChina, would enable China's largest energy producer to maintain control over the national gas grid as well as raise cash to fund oil and gas exploration, according to Reuters.

However, dropping the auction would pose a setback to the government's plans to open up the state-dominated energy sector to domestic private investors to improve competition and rein in corruption, Reuters said.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates PETROCHINA CO LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PETROCHINA CO LTD (PTR) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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