Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vietnam oil trader eyes $40 million IPO

Shares in Vietnam’s Petrolimex International Trading Co (Pitco) are set to make their market debut later this month as part of the oil trader’s US$40 million initial public offering, the bourse said over the weekend.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange said Pitco would list all its 9.77 million shares on January 24 at a starting price of VND65,000 ($4.10) each.

Pitco shares’ starting price is lower than the average price achieved at a share auction last April, when the HCMC-based firm raised nearly $14 million by selling 12.25 percent of the state-held shares to the public.

In June 2006 it sold 2.9 percent of the firm in an IPO.

Pitco, 51 percent owned by Vietnam’s top fuel trader Petrolimex, trades oil and petrochemicals.

Its export of minerals, mainly tin and antimony, makes up 40 percent of the country’s minerals exports.

Vietnam is Southeast Asia’s third-largest producer of crude oil but it has to import most of its oil product needs because it has no big refineries.

Its first large oil refinery is slated to start operation in early 2009.

Pitco also deals with coffee, black pepper, rubber and metals.

Vietnam is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of Robusta coffee.

Pitco expects its gross profit to rise 10 percent from the estimated profit for 2007 to VND42.6 billion, while 2008 revenues are expected to rise 14 percent to VND1.6 trillion.

Full-year results were not immediately available but the company said net profit for the first nine months of last year totaled VND32 billion.