Do Not Read This: Diego Cagahastian from Opinyon
Do Not Read This

Buying back Petron

Nov 15, 2021, 4:39 AM
Diego S. Cagahastian

Diego S. Cagahastian


BUSINESSMAN Ramon Ang, chairman and CEO of Petron, said he was willing to sell the company “anytime” at fair market value and payable over five years.

On Monday, Nov. 15, $:PCOR opened at 3.51 and increased a little (0.0100) to 3.52 during the morning trading.

“I swear, if the government wants to buy it back, just say it and I will sell it back to you. Prepare the valuation immediately,” Ang said.

“If you think that business is a jackpot, let the government buy it at the market valuation. I don’t need to make profits off the government,” he added. Ang said that Petron lost P18 billion in 2020.

The idea of the government's buying back Petron Corp. was revived as some lawmakers have suggested to mitigate runaway prices of petroleum products in the country in recent weeks.

The so-called Makabayan bloc (Kamatayan bloc, according to General Parlade) has called for the renationalization of Petron to address the series of oil price increases.
Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat earlier filed a bill for the renationalization of the oil company. It remains pending at the House committee on energy.

Gaite welcomed the offer of Ang to sell Petron back to the government, although other congressmen were doubtful it is best for the country. These lawmakers pointed out that the government is very poor in managing businesses, which is also true and valid, experience and previous events being the evidence.

House Assistant Majority Leader Eduardo Gullas of Cebu said:

"We in Congress won't allow the government to buy Petron back for the same reason that we won't allow the state-run PNOC to acquire Shell B. V.'s 45% operating stake in the Malampaya gas project.

"The government neither has the money nor the operational flexibility to run extremely costly and inherently risky oil and gas undertakings that are best left to highly agile private corporations."

Petron was owned by the government before the initial public offering of 20 percent of the company in 1994.

The government, through Philippine National Oil Co., kept a 40-percent stake, with the remaining 40 percent sold to Saudi-owned Aramco Overseas Co. B.V.

In 2008, the government divested for P25.7 billion its remaining stake to the British investment fund Ashmore Group, which had earlier bought the 40-percent holdings of Aramco.

In 2010, Ang’s San Miguel Corp. acquired majority control of Petron from Ashmore.

$:PCOR has a market capitalization of PHP 32.9 billion and the stock's average price this week is 3.53. The company booked P4.99 billion profit in January-September as revenues improved.

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