The national oil company sold 292.60 million shares in MISC Bhd with an offer price of RM6.67 a share, valuing the deal at RM1.95bil. At RM6.67, this was 15 sen below Thursday’s closing price of RM6.82. KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) raised some RM3.04bil cash by selling down stakes in two listed subsidiaries yesterday. The national oil company sold 292.60 million shares in MISC Bhd with an offer price of RM6.67 a share, valuing the deal at RM1.95bil. At RM6.67, this was 15 sen below Thursday’s closing price of RM6.82. The block of shares is equal to a 6.56% stake in the energy shipping company’s total issued shares of 4.46 billion units. After the sale, Petronas’ stake was reduced to 51% or 2.27 billion shares. Shares in MISC closed down four sen at RM6.78 yesterday. Petronas also sold 154 million stapled securities in its property arm comprising KLCC Property Holdings Bhd and KLCC Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The oil firm sold them at RM7.12 per stapled security, valuing the deal at RM1.09bil. This was 43 sen below Thursday’s close of RM7.55. Bankers said Petronas has the option to increase its offerings on both securities by as much as 10% each, depending on the book-building exercise. Petronas, in a statement to Bernama, said the pare down was carried out as part of ongoing portfolio optimisation efforts. The move, Petronas said, was to ensure a robust and sustainable portfolio, ready to capture new step-out business opportunities. “These sales of shares will result in greater local and international investor participation and ownership in these companies, in addition to increased stock liquidity. “Petronas continues to retain controlling stakes in MISC and KLCCP Stapled Group (KLCC SG), which remain to be key solution providers to Petronas, ” it said. Around the same time last year, Petronas raised RM6bil by cutting stakes in Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and MISC through similar deals. This year, however, has been particularly tough for the national oil company. Lower prices of crude oil in the global market and reduced demand for fuels due to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in heavy losses. For the first nine months ended Sept 30, Petronas posted a net loss of RM19.9bil. Petronas has approved an additional RM10bil dividend to the government to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic, on top of the RM24bil committed this year. Fitch Ratings, on Tuesday, downgraded Petronas’ long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) to BBB+ from A-. The outlook is “stable”. Petronas, which is 100% owned by the government, accounted for about 15% of the government’s revenue over the last five years.
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