SHANGHAI (Reuters) -CNOOC Ltd shares surged as much as 44% in their Shanghai debut on Thursday, defying broad market weakness, as investors sought safety in the Chinese oil giant amid high energy prices and quickening inflation. After opening 20% higher, CNOOC shares immediately shot up 44% on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, hitting a price ceiling for the day and triggering a 30-minute trading halt. It marked a bright spot in a bleak Shanghai market that slumped more than 2% amid COVID-19 lockdowns and geopolitical tensions.
China's top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing the assets could become subject to Western sanctions, industry sources said. Ties between China and the West have long been strained by trade and human rights issues and the tension has grown following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which China has refused to condemn. The United States said last week China could face consequences if it helped Russia to evade Western sanctions that have included financial measures that restrict Russia's access to foreign currency and make it complicated to process international payments.