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September 20, 2016

Volume 7 Issue 4

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BP Further Cuts Stake in Castrol India

BP sold an 8.5 percent chunk of its stake in Castrol India today, reducing its stake in the Indian lubricant marketer for the second time in four months in order to raise cash.

The British energy giant executed today’s sell-off on the National Stock Exchange in a block sale that raised Rs 1,750 crore (Rs 17.5 billion or U.S. $261 million), according to Indian news outlets. The sale leaves BP with a 50.9 percent stake in Castrol India, India’s leading lubricant supplier. BP owned 71 percent of the company before a May sell-off.

BP did not comment on today’s block deal, but the company, like many big petroleum businesses, has been selling assets to raise cash after steep drops in oil prices. BP has also been dealing with expenses stemming from its 2010 crude oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico, and it posted a record loss in 2015.

In contrast, Castrol India’s fortunes are on the upswing, thanks in part to trends in the Indian lubricant market. The country is world’s third-largest consumer of lubes and is now one of the fastest-growing markets in Asia. Castrol India’s profit for the three months ended June 30 was 12 percent higher than the same period of 2015.

BP said in May that it intended to retain control of Castrol India and did not anticipate changes in management due to its smaller stake in the company.