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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        27  May 2011

Petronas' earnings upgraded

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OSK is upgrading Petronas Chemicals Group's 2012 financial year earnings forecast by 28 per- cent based on expectations that current oil prices will sustain, which will, in turn, buoy the prices of chemicals products.

"Financial year 2011 was above expectations. We are upgrading our financial 2012 earnings forecast in line with the better outlook for the company.

"We continue to like the company's strong backing from Petronas group, especially in keeping its feedstock prices low, as well as, attractive dividend payout ratio of 50 per cent, which is the highest among its closest peers," it said in a research note today.

OSK maintained a "buy" on the company.

However, it said the company is still subject to uncontrollable factors which included fluctuations in the international price of petrochemical products, global economic conditions and utilisation of its production facilities based on demand.

Meanwhile, AmResearch, which maintained a "buy" on Petronas Chemicals, said the current Middle East political turmoil had pushed crude oil prices back to the US$100 per barrel threshold.

"As petrochemical prices have a high correlation to naphtha, which is a by-product of oil refining, we are sanguine about the company's earnings outlook," it said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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