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(Bloomberg) — Chinese oil giant PetroChina Co.’s market value briefly surpassed that of the nation’s top lender, making it at one point the second-largest listed company in mainland China.

The oil producer’s market capitalization rose to 1.75 trillion yuan ($242 billion) at the end of trading on Tuesday. A gain of as much as 3.9% earlier helped push its market value to about 1.77 trillion yuan, briefly overtaking that of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

ICBC’s market capitalization was larger than PetroChina’s by 11 billion yuan at the close. The last time the latter beat the bank was in 2015, when it held the title of the biggest stock onshore for years. 

A rally in oil prices this year has helped to buoy shares of energy firms around the world. For PetroChina, a rebound in domestic demand last year contributed to a record profit and dividend payout. Its dominance in the country’s natural gas market is also seen to put it in good stead in the years to come.

Chinese listed companies which pay high dividends have become a darling for local investors this year amid market volatility. The energy industry is the best performing subgauge on the onshore benchmark so far this year. 

Other peers including Cnooc Ltd. and China Merchants Energy Shipping Co. have also emerged among the biggest gainers on the CSI 300 Index this year. The former, which surged 42% this year, overtook Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. to become the eighth-largest stock onshore.

(Updates prices throughout)

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Published: 03 Apr 2024, 04:44 AM IST

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