Fortune Oil, the oil trading, distribution and infrastructure group, is to raise up to US$40 million to fund its portion of a $250 million aviation fuel oil supply joint venture in China. The deal will be financed by shareholders - who have not received a dividend from the company since it began trading - through a rights issue later this year. Chief executive Barry Cheung said the final terms of the issue would be announced once the joint venture for the contract was signed, expected by year-end. Overall investment, which will involve taking over the fuel supply business for 16 airports, is expected to be $250 million over the 25-year life of the venture. Fortune and its second largest shareholder Vitol will hold 24.5 per cent each in the venture, and the remaining 51 per cent will be owned by China Aviation Oil Supply. Only $100 million is required initially and Mr Cheung intends to use $25 million of the funds raised for the aviation joint venture, with the remaining $15 million to build petrol stations on the mainland. Fortune is due to complete its 10th station in November and hopes to have 20 to 30 stations established by the end of next year and 100 by 2000. Revenues from station operations so far have reached GBP1.03 million. The company's shares rose 2.7 per cent to 9.25 pence yesterday following the release of 65 per cent higher interim pre-tax profits of GBP2.83 million for the six months to June.