Energy is always a hot issue these days, and from the looks of things, it’s about to get hotter. China’s oil and gas colossus, PetroChina, is set to open on the Shanghai Stock Exchange this week. The company, already traded in New York and Hong Kong, is valued at $460 billion, a mere $26 billion behind ExxonMobil, the most valuable company in the world. This will simply add to China’s ever-growing list of immense businesses, which already includes the world’s largest bank, insurance company, telecommunications service, and airline.
Despite its mammoth size, PetroChina is only about half as profitable as Exxon, having a net income of $10.7 billion to Exxon’s $19.5, and certainly has room for further growth. Encumbered by state-controlled pricing, the oil company is owned principally by the government. Analysts point out the rise of Chinese business and events such as the opening of PetroChina on the exchange are spurring the Chinese to invest for the first time, however many "don’t have any knowledge of the market or any idea of risk," raising fears that a market crash in China could have especially dire consequences.
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