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Banpu Climbs on Share Buyback, Cash Dividend: Bangkok Mover

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Banpu Pcl, Thailand’s biggest coal producer, rose the most in two months in Bangkok trading after announcing a 6.15 billion baht ($206 million) share buyback and maintaining its dividend payment amid a fall in profit.

The shares jumped 3.7 percent to 392 baht as at 11:58 a.m. local time, the most since Dec. 17. The stock was the biggest gainer in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which slid 1 percent.

Bangkok-based Banpu, which has mines in Indonesia, China and Australia, plans to repurchase about 13.56 million shares, or about 5 percent of its stock outstanding, it said today in a statement. The company also maintained its final cash dividend of 9 baht a share, unchanged from a year earlier, even after reporting a 54 percent drop in full-year profit.

“The share buyback and cash dividend has significantly boosted investors’ sentiment on Banpu’s shares after a weak earnings report,” Rutsada Tweesaengsakulthai, an analyst at Phillip Securities (Thailand) Pcl, said by phone today.

Net income in 2012 slumped to 9.29 billion baht from 20.06 billion baht a year earlier, as a drop in coal prices lowered profit margin, Chief Executive Officer Chanin Vongkusolkit said in a separate e-mailed statement. The decline in earnings last year was also compounded by the 8.25 billion baht one-time gain in 2011, Banpu said in the statement.

Banpu’s shares have fallen 4.9 percent this year, compared with a 10 percent advance in the benchmark SET Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anuchit Nguyen in Bangkok at anguyen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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