China is reportedly looking at how to block BHP Billiton’s hostile offer for Potash Corporation, the world’s largest fertiliser maker.
The Wall Street Journal said China’s state-run Sinochem has hired HSBC to advise on its options regarding Potash, but that does not mean it has decided to make a counterbid.
Apparently the Chinese are worried about future supplies of fertiliser needed to rapidly boost food production.
Earlier this week, a Chinese newspaper reported Beijing was also considering launching an anti-monopoly investigation into the deal.
Sinochem’s options may be limited due to Canadian government worries.
The energy minister of Saskatchewan, where Potash is based, said the province would have “lots of concerns” about a Chinese sovereign fund or state-owned company buying part or all of the company.
“That’s where some of the concern would be: having a customer whose interests obviously are to have very low prices,” Saskatchewan’s Energy Minister Bill Boyd said.