Holy PetroChina

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(Update Nov. 6) There are many reports saying that PetroChina is the largest company in the world, according to its market capital (> 1 trillion USD), after its IPO/secondary offering in Shanghai. This is a bit misleading, as similar claims regarding ICBC (1388.HK), and China Life (NYSE:LFC) being the largest bank and insurance company in the world. For two reasons:

1) The market cap calculation is based on China A share price, which is artificially high, because of the close nature of China A share market;

2) Even if market cap calulcation has some merits, the China companies make less money compared to its peers in the west, Exxon Mobile, Citibank, or AIG. Keep in mind Chinese companies such as PetroChina has a monopoly position in China.

(Original Nov 4 evening CST) PetroChina started trading in Shanghai under ticker symbol 601857, corresponding to 0857 in Hongkong. It’s trading just under 44 Yuan at 11AM Beijing time. Note 0857 is trading at HKD 18.50 at the same time. One HKD is slightly less than one Yuan.

All in all, I think traders in China are crazy.

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