ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Petrolimex to sell large stake to JX Nippon Oil & Energy
The Viet Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) is accelerating negotiations with its strategic Japanese investor, JX Nippon Oil and Energy, to sell 15-25 per cent of its stakes through a share issue to raise charter capital.
If the share sale is completed, the State holding in the group would be reduced to about 75 per cent, said Dinh Viet Tien, chief of Petrolimex's Supervisory Board at its annual shareholders' meeting yesterday.
This move is in line with the Petrolimex' equitis-ation plan approved by the Prime Minister in May, 2011, to raise its charter capital from VND10.7 trillion (US$493.1 million) to VND12.5 trillion ($576 million).
The Ministry of Industry and Trade represents State ownership in Petrolimex with a 95-per-cent stake.
Petrolimex signed a memorandum on strategic co-operation with JX Nippon Oil and Energy last December. The group expect collaboration with the Japanese investor, who has strong financial capacity with 37 per cent of market shares in Japan, will promote its financial situation and corporate governance.
At the meeting, Petrolimex' executives also reported on business performance in 2014 and plans for this year.
Ending September, 2014, the group still earned a profit of over VND600 billion ($27.6 million) but continuous declines in world oil prices towards the end of the year trimmed profits. It incurred a total loss of VND9 billion ($415,000) after tax by the end of last year.
Due to failure in the profit performance, Petroli-mex decided not to pay dividends of 8-10 per cent as earlier projected. However, performance of other business lines, which account for 55 per cent of the group's total sales including lubricants, insurance, gas, jet fuel and transportation, achieved positive results and offset oil price declines.
In 2015, world oil prices are volatile and unpredictable, but the national economy is forecast to strengthen with the GDP growth forecast of 6.5 per cent and inflation rate of about 5 per cent.
Petrolimex has targeted sales of oil and gas of VND10.08 trillion ($464.5 million) in 2015 (including in both domestic and foreign markets), up 2.5 per cent over 2014. However, it trimmed the consolidated revenue target by 24.5 per cent to VND154 trillion ($7.1 billion).
Its pre-tax profit goal is set at VND2.45 trillion ($112.9 million), up to 760 per cent over 2014. The dividend rate is still kept at 8 per cent in 2015.
This year, the group will also build divestment plans from its insurance arm PJICO Insurance Corp, PGBank and PLand as directed.
PGBank is projected to merge into Vietinbank. The two banks have completed the merger documents and the deal is expected to complete in the end of this year. — VNS
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