Sinopec Brings Power of Eight to Opening Bell

On Wednesday one of China’s blue chip enterprises visited the NYSE. The company, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (aka Sinopec Corp / SNP)), led by Mr. Fu Chengyu, Chairman of Sinopec Corp. and its parent, Sinopec Group, rang the Opening Bell. There were eight people on the bell podium, a lucky number in China symbolizing prosperity (fyi shortly after the bell was rung, the Greek parliament approved austerity measures that paves the way toward securing international funds and preventing the euro zone's first sovereign default).

Host Larry Leibowitz, Chief Operating Officer, NYSE Euronext, welcomed and congratulated the delegation on their successful track record. In fact, Sinopec has seen its market capitalization quintuple in size since the company listed its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and raised almost $3.3 billion in a global IPO on the New York Stock Exchange over ten years ago.

Sinopec is one of the leading Chinese enterprises that are listed on the NYSE’s Big Board, a select group that includes China Life Insurance Company Limited (LFC) and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU). It is also one of the few NYSE listed Chinese companies to have an investor relations office in the U.S. – a great convenience for U.S. investors and unique window for Sinopec to view U.S. business culture.

According to its latest annual report filed with the SEC, Sinopec Corp. is the largest integrated petroleum and petrochemical company in China and one of the largest in Asia in terms of operating revenues (2010 operating revenues was 1.913 trillion RMB or roughly $290 billion USD). To put Sinopec’s size in context, approximate 2010 revenues for Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) was $383 billion and Total S.A.’s (TOT) was $188 billion. Sinopec’s list of number ones in China include: operator of the largest sales and distribution network for refined petroleum products, and the largest producer of petrochemicals, ethylene, and aromatics.

Chairman Fu is former Chairman and CEO of NYSE listed CNOOC Ltd. (CEO).  As part of my effort to highlight corporate leaders who leverage their positions for societal good, I note the Chairman was recently appointed to the Board of the United Nations Global Compact, which is a strategic policy initiative to enable business, as a primary driver of globalization, to help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.

Tucked inside the chapter “it’s a small world” is that Sinopec has an office in Houston, Texas – my hometown from junior high through college, and Sinopec’s team members professed their love of steaks in Texas although I’ll have to introduce them to Lone Star beer.