Monday, November 05, 2007

Is PetroChina really worth 1 trillion dollars?

That's the firm's market capitalization as implied by its price in the Shanghai bourse following its IPO there (see here). But the price of its NYSE-quoted ADR's gives a market cap of "only" 398 billion.

This, of course, is the result of capital controls in China, leading to what is probably the biggest case of segmented markets in history. Of course, this is just a degree of insanity quibble, as there's no way PetroChina is worth a cool one trillion.

After all, ExxonMobil has three times the revenues PetroChina has, and twice its net income. Even if China keeps growing at its current rate, that's a big gap to overcome (and lets not forget the bulk of those profits come from upstream activities, which grow slowly if at all).