Malaysian state energy firm Petronas mulls global bond sale after five years

FILE PHOTO: A Petronas logo at their office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state-owned oil company, is considering selling global bonds for the first time in nearly five years, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Petronas, as the company is known, asked banks to submit pitches for the proposed dollar-denominated, benchmark-sized bonds last month and is expected to pick advisers soon, said the people, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. The last time the oil major tapped the global market was in 2015 when it sold $5 billion of dollar bonds.

The potential bond sale could come at a time when the cost of insuring Malaysian sovereign debt is at its lowest in more than a decade. The ringgit has strengthened 1.6% against the dollar in the past month, making it the second best-performing currency in Asia.

Petronas is banking on Americas to help raise reserves and maintain production rates, its Chief Executive Officer Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said in an interview in April. The state-owned company will allocate a larger share of its future capital expenditure toward projects from Canada to Brazil as it completes a $27 billion refinery and petrochemicals project at home, he said at that time.

There hasn’t been final decision on the size and timeline of the proposed global bond sale as deliberations continue, the people said. Petronas can still decide against proceeding with an issuance, they added. A representative for Petronas didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Moody’s Investors Service gives Petronas an A2 rating, which is the sixth-highest investment grade and a notch above Malaysia’s sovereign rating. The oil giant has six outstanding dollar bonds worth a total of $6.5 billion, in which $1.25 billion of notes are set to mature on March 18, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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