Illustrative image (Source: vietnambiz.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - PV Oil’s locking of the foreign ownership ratio at 6.6 percent is a temporary measure before the Government endorses its new capital divestment plan, said General Director Cao Hoai Duong.

PV Oil is waiting for the State to approve its new divestment plan, Duong said, adding that the foreign ownership limit would be scaled up to 49 percent again after the approval.

He said in the new plan, the company proposed to keep the foreign ratio at 49 percent, the maximum rate allowed in the petroleum sector in Vietnam.

The State still holds 80 percent of PV Oil’s capital after the sale of 20 percent stake in the initial public offering in January 2018. The planned offering of 45 percent capital for strategic investors was not carried out due to the short time (three months) between the two share sales regulated by the Government.

In the new divestment scheme, PV Oil – a subordinate company of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) - still proposes to sell a 45 percent stake to reduce the State’s holding to 35 percent.

The divestment is expected to be divided in two lots – a 30 percent stake and a 15 percent stake. At present, a number of foreign investors have shown interest in buying the company’s capital, including SK Energy (the Republic of Korea), Idemitsu (Japan) and British-Dutch oil giant Shell.

In November last year, SK Energy purchased 3.55 million PV Oil shares and became the company’s second largest shareholder with a holding of 5.23 percent of capital.

In December, Vietnam’s second largest petroleum distributor unexpectedly adjusted its cap on foreign ownership from 49 percent to 6.62 percent without explanation.

Shares of the company (OIL) are trading on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) at around 14,000 VND (0.60 USD) per share.

Its consolidated profit before tax in 2018 is expected to reach 587 billion VND (25.2 million USD), up 17 percent year-on-year.-VNA