PVF shareholders approve merger plan

HA NOI (VNS)— A shareholder meeting on Saturday of PetroVietnam Finance Corp (PVF) resolved that the company would merge with Western Bank to form a new institution.

The new entity was expected to have an equity of VND9 trillion (US$428.6 million) and total asset value of VND100 trillion ($4.8 billion).

Western Bank’s shareholders also approved the plan late last month, which was believed to help build an entity with adequate resources for developing banking services and major energy projects.

The two sides pledged to continue normal operations, maintain current business relations and assure the rights and interests of relevant organsations and individuals, including their customers, suppliers and agents.

PVF chairman Nguyen Dinh Lam told online newspaper VnExpress.net that the scheme was just waiting for the State Bank of Viet Nam’s approval, adding that Western Bank’s financial situation had been cleaned up although it had previously been exposed to significant bad debts.

Industry insiders said the greatest advantage of the merger bank would be the network since PVF, under the brand name of the oil and gas industry, had advantages in financing economic groups, while Western Bank had quite a large network in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.

After the merger, the 78 per cent stake which Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) was holding at its affiliate PVF would fall to 52 per cent at the new entity.

PetroVietnam general director Do Van Hau said the parent company would then sell more stakes to further reduce its equity in PVF following a capital withdrawal road map, but he affirmed that the group would continue to be “a firm stay” for the merger bank.

“We have over VND10 trillion ($476.2 million) deposited in a PVF account and don’t have any plans to change this amount even after the merger,” he said.

According to the law, PVF share listings would be terminated after the merger. The company’s shares are currently being traded at around VND8,500 ($0.4) on the HCM City Stock Exchange.

The equity of the new bank corresponded to 900 million shares worth VND10,000 ($0.47) each and the possibility of listing these shares on the stock market was still under consideration, according to the PVF management board.

Non-banking financial corporation PVF had planned to become a banking institution for two years and merging with Western Bank was the easiest way for it to do so.

For Western Bank, which had been facing liquidity troubles, merging with the PVF offered a means to save itself from bankruptcy, industry insiders said. — VN


Russian state oil firm to invest $100 mn in Vietnam

Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft has pledged to invest around $100 million in geological prospecting and drilling off Vietnam after it received approval for a new oil bloc there, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said.

“We have received approval for another bloc, 05-3/11, close to the existing bloc. We’ll be able to use the existing infrastructure. This year, we’ll spend about $27 million on geological prospecting while overall obligations (for Rosneft) for geological prospecting and drilling amount to about $100 million,” Sechin said.

The Rosneft head signed a production-sharing agreement for the bloc Wednesday between TNK Vietnam, a subsidiary of TNK-BP taken over by Rosneft, and Vietnamese state company Petrovietnam.

Sechin said geological prospecting for the new bloc would take about two years but did not specify the amount the company might spend on the whole project.

Rosneft did not have any stakes in Vietnamese projects until it took over Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP, which had acquired from BP a 35 percent stake in the offshore gas condensate production Block 06.1, which contains the Lan Tay and Lan Do gas condensate fields.

Rosneft has offered Petrovietnam cooperation in eight blocks on the shelf of the Pechora Sea in the Russian Arctic, Sechin said.

15 May 2013   |   Laos News.net

Myanmar leads natural gas export in Asia

Myanmar is standing as leading natural gas exporter among Asian countries and tenth places in world ranking, according to statistics from natural gas export.

Myanmar signed a 30 year agreement with Thailand and has exported 640 million cubic feet of natural gas from Yatanar oil and natural gas offshore field to Thailand daily since 1998. Yatanar oil and natural gas offshore field distributes 180 million cubic feet per daily to local use.

Similarly Myanmar has exported 430 million cubic feet of natural gas from Yetagun oil and natural gas offshore field to Thailand daily. The field has been operated by Petronas Carigali Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd. and has sold natural gas to Thailand since 2001.

Although 9,700 barrels of the kerosene produced daily from the offshore platform have been exported with shipping to overseas, now they are purified at Thanlyin Oil Refinery.

The oil and natural gas fields can’t be used immediately after they are found because the company needs to measure the quality of natural gas and make analysis for at least 9 or 10 years before make selling.

“Actually crude oil is not like as natural gas. Kerosene can be sold at a specific time and place. Natural gas has to make liquefied natural gas or sell it with pipe line. We have to make analysis about how much they are available and how many years they can use before we sell them. The analysis is made by the third party and it will make estimation of how big the field is and how many years they can use. If the mutual agreement is for 30 years, we have to consent the facts in the agreement. The seller and buyer can’t break the agreement,” Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, President of Smart Group of Companies said in a conference with the title “Prospect of Oil and Natural Gas in Myanmar”.

Although the natural gas from Zawtika offshore gas field, a part of the offshore M9 block in the Gulf of Martaban, was planned to sell to Thailand, they are not ready to sales after 15 years of analysis since the field was found in 1998.

Moreover Shwe gas project located near Kyauk Phyu was founded in 2003 and the project is still implementing to export to China after 10 years, he said.

Although the situation is like that, Myanmar is still leading the gas export in Asia.

Cambodia’s oil imports down 12 pct in Q1

Cambodia imported 412,190 tons of petroleum in the first quarter of 2013, a 12 percent decrease compared with the 471,000 tons it imported at the same period last year, the commerce ministry’s report showed on Saturday.

During the January-March period this year, the country spent 397 million U.S. dollars to buy the petroleum, down 15 percent from 469 million U.S. dollars at the same period last year, it said.

Currently, the country totally purchases petroleum from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand as its seabed’s oil and gas have not been exploited.

On April 8, during the official visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to China, Hun Sen and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang witnessed a signing on a Memorandum of Understanding on the 5 million tons oil refinery project among China Development Bank, China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, China Perfect Machinery Industry Corporation and Cambodian Petrochemical Company.

The oil refinery project, which is estimated to cost 1.67 billion U.S. dollars, will be built on the 80-hectare area within the boundary of Preah Sihanouk province and Kampot province in Cambodia.

By Xinhua│27 April 2013 │English.news.cn

Myanmar opens offshore oil and gas exploration blocks auction

The government of Myanmar has commenced an auction of 30 offshore oil and gas exploration blocks, which is anticipated to attract huge interest from foreign multinational companies.

Energy firms have to submit their expressions of interest by 14 June, following which potential bidders will be picked up by the government, reported AFP.

The energy ministry has said on its website that successful bidders will be granted full rights to up to three of 19 deepwater blocks on offer.

Earlier, companies were supposed to explore onshore blocks in partnership with state oil companies, however bidders are now asked to take full control for deepwater exploration owing to high cost and technical skills required for such programmes.

The ministry said that bidders will have to sign a production sharing contract with the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) for 11 shallow water blocks on offer.

A MOGE official was quoted by AFP as saying that offshore and onshore blocks are not similar.

“A deep water block requires a lot of money, advanced technical skills and involves a high level of risk,” the official added.

In March, the energy ministry’s assistant director Aung Kyaw Htoo told AFP that oil giants such as BP, Woodside, Shell and Chevron have shown interested in bidding.

By  EBR Staff Writer  |   12 April 2013  |   EBR

Local palm oil exporter targets EU

Mong Reththy Group (MRG), Cambodia’s largest exporter of palm oil, hopes to expand its exports to European markets this year.

Mong Reththy, president of the firm, said the quota-free and duty-free trade frameworks provided by European governments factored heavily into the decision.

“About 50 per cent of our total exports, which were worth about $27 million last year, went to European countries. They provided us with quota-free and duty-free access so that we can get $60 per tonne, compared with Malaysia or Thailand, which require us to pay tax. That is a great benefit,” he said.

“They are also encouraging us to export more because we are from a small country, so we receive a lot of support.”

The company began planting palm trees in 1995, when its five-tonne-per-hour-capacity refinery was built. But as growing numbers of palm trees were planted in the area, the company decided to upgrade the refinery’s capacity to 30 tonnes per hour.

MRG expects the production of crude palm oil to increase to 22,000 tonnes this year, up from 18,000 tonnes in 2012.

“We are not afraid of a lack of market. Wherever there are people, there are buyers, because palm oil can make up to 200 kinds of foods,” Reththy said. “We don’t worry about the market, what we are concerned about is the lack of land to grow on.”

He added that the company hopes to export more than $30 million worth of product this year – over 50 per cent of which will go to Europe. Reththy said the bulk of his company’s crude palm oil is exported to Malaysia, where it is processed and sent to Thailand, India and Europe.

By May Kunmakara │09 April 2013│The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian PM to pay official visit to China on April 6-10: Foreign Ministry

PHNOM PENH, April 3 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a high delegation to pay an official visit to China from April 6-10 in order to further enhance bilateral ties between the two countries, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

The visit is made at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the statement said, adding that during the visit, Hun Sen will pay a courtesy call on Chinese President Xi Jinping, have a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, and hold an official talk with Li Keqiang.

At the end of the visit, both sides will agree to mark the year 2013 as the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and Cambodia and the “China- Cambodia Friendship Year”, it said.

Both sides will sign a number of documents including the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Bank of Cambodia and China Banking Regulatory Commission, agreement on economic and technical cooperation, concessional loan agreements by China to Cambodia for bridge and irrigation system development, and grant aid for vocational school on agriculture.

In addition, the statement said, another two important agreements will be signed by both sides. One is the action plan on the implementation of the China-Cambodia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation between Chinese government and Cambodian government, and the other is the Memorandum of Understanding on the 5 million tons oil refinery project among China Development Bank, China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, China Perfect Machinery Industry Corporation and Cambodian Petrochemical Company in the investment amount of 1.67 billion U.S. dollars.

On the sidelines, Hun Sen will deliver a speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013 to be held on April 6-8 at Boao, Hainan province of China.

Accompanying the premier during the forthcoming visit include deputy prime minister and defense minister Tea Banh, commerce minister Cham Prasidh, and other members of the government, it said.