Petronas sells shares in MISC and KLCCP Stapled Group

Petronas sells shares in MISC and KLCCP Stapled Group
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10): Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is parting with shares in the listed companies in which it holds controlling stakes again.

This time round, the national oil firm is disposing of a chunk of its holdings in shipping giant MISC Bhd and KLCCP Stapled Group (KLCCSS), according to the term sheet on the share sales sighted by The Edge.

Petronas is looking to dispose of a total of 266 million shares, equivalent to a 5.96% stake in MISC at the offer price of RM6.67 per share, valuing the block of shares at RM1.77 billion.

After the share sales, Petronas will remain as the controlling shareholder with a roughly 51.6% stake against 57.56% previously.

The term sheet indicated that the offer price presents a 4.94% discount to MISC’s five-day volume weighted average price (VWAP) of RM7.0169 on Dec 10, 2020, and a 2.2% discount to today’s closing of RM6.82.

Meanwhile, Petronas is also offering 140 million stapled securities, or 7.75% of KLCCSS, comprising KLCC Property Holdings Bhd and KLCC Real Estate Investment Trust, to investors at RM7.12 per stapled security. The chunk of securities is valued at RM996.8 million at the offer price, which is at a 6.03% discount to its five-day VWAP of RM7.5765 up to Dec 10 and a 5.7% discount to its closing price of RM7.55.

This is exactly one year after the previous round of share sales done by Petronas. A year ago, the national oil firm sold 228.28 million shares, or a 5.11% stake, in MISC, together with 59 million shares, or a 5.93% stake, in Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag) and 191.15 million shares, or a 9.66% stake, in Petronas Gas Bhd (PetGas).

It is apparent that the share sales are for the national oil firm to raise some fresh funds as its sole shareholder, the Federal Government, is counting on it to help finance the country’s stimulus measures to revive the domestic economy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Petronas will pay RM34 billion in dividends to the Federal Government this year, although the national oil company slid into deep losses due mainly to the sharp drop in crude oil prices and massive asset impairments.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2020 (9MYF20), Petronas posted losses after tax of RM19.89 billion in contrast to a profit after tax of RM36.36 billion in the previous corresponding period.

Petronas declared RM24 billion in dividends for FY19 and RM54 billion in FY18, including a special dividend of RM30 billion as the then Pakatan Harapan Government needed money to pay the outstanding Goods and Services Tax refunds owed to businesses.

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas)'s long-term sovereign rating to “BBB+” from “A-”, with a stable outlook.

The rating action followed an earlier downgrade of Malaysia's sovereign rating to “BBB+” from “A-” on Dec 4, with a stable outlook, due to the concern that the Covid-19 pandemic will take a heavy toll on the nation's financial health. This is the first time the ratings agency has downgraded the country's sovereign rating since the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis.

Kathy Fong