DOE claims Shell bourse debut finally happening
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) would finally offer shares to the public within the year, a long-awaited undertaking mandated by law, the Department of Energy (DOE) claimed.
Outgoing Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said Shell country chair Edgar O. Chua informed the department of the development last Tuesday during a meeting.
“Definitely, this year,” Monsada said of the stock market debut plans that have been put on hold since the late 1990s. Citing Chua’s report, she said the board of directors of The Hague-based multinational Royal Dutch Shell, the parent firm of PSPC, has finally approved the initial public offering (IPO) in the Philippines.
Shell had always cited the volatile stock market in deferring its IPO plans. Last year, the decline of oil prices raised fears the oil giant may again put off efforts to undertake an IPO.
Monsada said firming up such plans, mandated under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, indicated Shell was enjoying profitability and was already seeing improved stock market conditions in the country.
Monsada said Shell did not give an exact date nor the number of shares it would put on offer.
In a text message, PSPC communications and social performance manager Cesar Abaricia said: “We can confirm PSPC is in the process of preparations for an IPO in accordance with its obligations.”
He said, however, the nature and timing of the IPO were still being determined.
Shell country chair Edgar O. Chua earlier said it was possible arrangements for the IPO could be finalized after the May elections. Shell has already tapped a transaction adviser that would regularly report on the feasibility of an IPO.
Chua said Shell could offer more than 10 percent of shares. The law required a minimum 10 percent offering for an oil firm with a locally based refinery.
He said the IPO would be used for “growth projects.”
The oil company had earlier raised its authorized capital to 2.5 billion shares from one billion previously, perhaps in preparation for its planned listing.
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