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Stock Exchange/IPO
July 23, 2007

Govt expects 2 refinery listings in 2008
The stock market listings of a Thai unit of Exxon Mobil Corp and Star Petroleum Refining Co (SPRC) are expected next year, a senior Energy Ministry official said on July 23.

"An appropriate time for the flotation of Esso refinery would be March 2008 while SPRC should go public within 1-2 months of Esso's listing," Pornchai Rujiprapha, who heads a committee in charge of the listing plans, told reporters.

Esso (Thailand) had appointed Morgan Stanley and Phatra Securities as advisers, Pornchai said.

The listings are required under an agreement made more than 10 years ago which allowed the oil companies to build refineries in Thailand.

Thailand has seven refineries, and Esso and SPRC are the only two not to have listed.

The Esso unit, which is 12.5 percent owned by the Finance Ministry, operates a complex refinery with a capacity of 170,000 barrels per day.

Before the listing, the company has to finish restucturing its debts, which surged after Asia's 1997/1998 financial crisis, Pornchai said. It has debts of around 10-20 billion baht ($298-$595 million).

For the listing of the 150,000 bpd SPRC plant, state-run PTT PCL, which owns 36 percent of the refinery, was negotiating with its other major shareholder, Chevron, he added.

The US oil firm owns 64% of SPRC. PTT has said it wants to list Star in the fourth quarter of this year, but that the plan needed approval from Chevron. Reuters

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