Buyside advisers miss out on Sinopec retail sale

Foreign banks and investors haven't struck pay dirt with Sinopec's $17.4 billion retail unit stake sale.

China's reform has been heralded as a goldmine for investment banks, as the prospect of helping lumbering state-owned giants introduce private capital, reshuffle assets and restructure inefficient businesses offers an unprecedented opportunity for banks hungry to boost fees.

But there has been little evidence of this in Sinopec's recent $17.4 billion sale of a near 30% stake in its retail unit, which includes a sprawling network of more than 30,000 petrol stations and 23,000 convenience stores.

The sale was highly anticipated. In April, Sinopec hired foreign banks Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank alongside Chinese firms CICC and Citic Securities as financial advisers, but thereafter...

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