Sinochem lines up tilt at Potash

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The Independent Online

The Chinese state-owned chemicals giant Sinochem is reported to have approached Singapore state investor Tamasek about a joint bid for PotashCorp, the world's biggest fertiliser group that is subject to a $39bn (£25bn) bid from BHP Billiton.

Sinochem has been ordered by officials in Beijing to meet PotashCorp's bankers with a view to scuppering BHP's bid, which the fertiliser maker has described as "grossly inadequate".

With a huge population and growing middle class, China is keen to avoid BHP gaining a strong hold over the fertiliser market. BHP says that it will not overpay for PotashCorp, but has not ruled out a higher offer.