The world's largest company by market capitalization is the Chinese energy company PetroChina (NYSE:PTR). The Financial Times's Lex column reports that PetroChina's Chinese-government-owned parent company, CNPC, just spent about $600 million to buy back about half a billion PetroChina shares, raising its ownership stake to 86.54% from 86.29%.
"The best explanation is a creeping re-nationalisation of the state's most prized strategic assets," the FT says.
There's both a Goldman Sachs angle and a Warren Buffett angle on PetroChina. At least here in America, the government says it wants to eventually exit its positions in companies such as General Motors and Citigroup (NYSE:C). No such luck in China.