BP selling interests in Malaysian ethylene and PE production to Petronas for US$363M as part of British oil company's move to raise cash to meet costs of oil well blowout in Gulf of Mexico

LONDON , September 1, 2010 () – Britain's BP PLC said Wednesday it is selling its interests in Malaysian ethelyne and polyethelene production to the country's national oil company for $363 million.

BP holds a 15 percent interest in Ethylene Malaysia Sdn Bhd and 60 percent of Polyethylene Malaysia Sdn Bhd, though both are operated by Petronas, the national oil company.

BP has recently been selling assets to raise cash to meet the costs of the disastrous oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. It will retain other operations in Malaysia including its Asian Business Service Center in Kuala Lumpur.

The cash payment includes a loan repayment of $53 million and a $13 million balance sheet adjustment, BP said. The British company will also receive a pre-closing dividend payment of $48 million, subject to approval by the Ethelyne Malaysia board.

"Whilst these are attractive businesses with strong domestic and regional markets, BP recognizes that Petronas is their natural owner, with various integration opportunities uniquely available to them at the Kertih site," said Sue Rataj, president of BP's Global Petrochemicals Business.

BP shares were up 0.4 percent at 382.1 pence in early trading on the London Stock Exchange.

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