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Sinopec - putting the house in order

The Chinese giant is shifting priorities to make the most of weaker crude prices

As the Austro-American economist Joseph Schumpeter famously argued, recessions are good for business because they force management to achieve more with less. "Creative destruction" was the term, and it applies neatly to China's state-owned Sinopec, the biggest refiner in Asia and the country's second-largest producer of oil and gas by volume. At last equipped with a new president -- the post was left vacant for more than a year -- Sinopec has been spending heavily on its downstream business; a quest for higher-margin sales from its chemicals and other value-adding divisions. And, while not neglecting the upstream, China's petrochemical giant spent much of 2016 building up its retail busines

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