Policy & Regulation

15 Jan 2021

Trump Escalates Ban On Holding Chinese Oil Stocks, Delisting May Be Next

15 Jan 2021  by   

The Trump Administration is banning as of November 2021 the holding of shares in any Chinese company defined by the U.S. as having links to the Chinese military, including stock in oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

In an executive order issued on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump makes it illegal for U.S. persons to hold shares after November 11, 2021 in any of the companies described as a “Communist Chinese military company,” further tightening the ban from last November, which prohibited only buying new shares in those firms.

Wednesday’s executive order steps up the restrictions on investment in Chinese companies as part of the order from November 2020, ‘Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies.’

According to the latest Non-SDN Communist Chinese Military Companies List of the U.S. Department of the Treasury as of January 08, 2021, the oil company CNOOC, as well as chemicals giant Sinochem Group, are included in that list.

In November, the U.S. Administration moved to blacklist CNOOC due to its ties to the Chinese military. The U.S. Department of Defense has designated 31 Chinese companies from various industries as either owned or controlled by the country’s military, including CNOOC and Huawei.

After President Trump’s executive order on Wednesday, S&P Dow Jones Indices said that due to the sanctions, it would remove the American Depository Receipts (ADR) of CNOOC and the H shares of the company from the S&P Dow Jones Indices on or before February 1, 2021.

Chinese crude oil companies listed in New York may soon be kicked out, after the NYSE delisted three telecoms with headquarters in China, due to alleged ties to the Chinese military, Bloomberg reported last week.

“More Chinese companies could get delisted in the U.S. and the oil majors could come as the next wave,” an executive director of a Hong Kong-based investment bank told Bloomberg. Steven Leung, however, added that for the telecoms, at least, the impact of the delisting would not be particularly serious as they weren't traded all that actively on NYSE.


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