Oman Said to Be Near Buying Vitol Stake in Oil-Trading Arm

Oman will take full control of an oil-trading venture it owns with Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent energy trader, in the latest sign of the rise of state-owned commodities traders. The Oman Trading International Ltd. venture will be fully owned by the state after it buys from Vitol the 30 percent it doesn’t already hold, according to people with knowledge of the transaction. Oman had planned since the venture’s start in 2006 to take full control once operations were established and successful, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the deal is private. The acquisition reinforces the emergence of a new cadre of state enterprises to buy and sell natural resources. Countries from Saudi Arabia to China are building large government-owned commodity trading groups in direct competition with established houses. “Saudi Arabia started the trend in the Middle East for state-owned firms getting into trading,” said Tom James, managing director at London-based consultant Navitas Resources. “The big question is really how customers of OTI will perceive the firm without Vitol involved.” Calls to Oman Oil for comment went unanswered and a media official at Oman’s oil ministry didn’t immediately comment. State-owned Oman Oil Co. and … continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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