China National Chemicals Corp, or ChemChina, confirmed on Monday that it plans to increase its stake in global energy trader Mercuria Group and sell the trader a minority stake in the state firm’s refining business.

Reuters reported on Saturday that Geneva-based Mercuria Group has agreed to take an interest in the oil refining system of ChemChina. The deal, if completed, would be the first time a global trading house has gained a stake in a Chinese refinery company.

ChemChina also said on Monday that Mercuria will raise its stake in its global trading operations, according to a statement on its website. It did not give further details.

ChemChina already holds a 12 percent stake in Mercuria, one of the world’s largest oil traders, and will remain a minority investor in the trading company.

ChemChina operates the country’s largest refinery system outside of the state-owned majors such as PetroChina Co. The company has a total processing capacity of 530,000 barrels per day, including three plants in Shandong province.

The deal, agreed in Beijing on Saturday, would give Mercuria its first stake in crude refining to go alongside its interests in oil transport, storage and upstream operations. (Reporting by Aizhu Chen in Beijing; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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