BASF says finance head Bock set for top job

31st May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The finance director of German chemical giant BASF, Kurt Bock, will take over as chairman of the group in May 2011, BASF said on Monday.

Bock is to succeed the current BASF chief Juergen Hambrecht when he steps down as planned, the group's supervisory board said in a statement.

Bock, 51, also currently runs BASF's operations in North America and the group's catalysers division.

He began his career with BASF in 1987 but also worked for the auto parts company Bosh from 1992 to 1996.

"Kurt Bock is an entrepreneur with an extensive international experience," the BASF statement said.

Stock traders welcomed the announcement, with one telling Dow Jones Newswires that "as the financial director, he is known to market investors."

BASF shares gained 0.69 percent to 43.15 euros in midday Frankfurt trading on the news, while the DAX index of German bluechips was 0.30 percent higher overall.

BASF is the world's biggest chemicals group, with activities in generalised and specialised chemicals in addition to agro-food products and products for the petroleum industry.

In April 2009, it bought the Swiss specialty chemicals group for 3.8 billion euros (4.7 billion dollars).

Along with the rest of the chemical sector, BASF suffered from the global economic crisis last year before rebounding in the first quarter of 2010.

The group has placed its full-year hopes in Asian economic growth.

© 2010 AFP

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