OMV Petrom Seeks Approval for London Bourse Secondary Listing

OMV Petrom SA will ask shareholders to approve a plan for a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange to boost the Romanian oil company’s trading liquidity.

The company scheduled an extraordinary meeting for Sept. 22 to discuss a plan to issue global depository receipts linked to Petrom’s existing shares and list them in London, according to a regulatory statement. An approval would be valid until Dec. 31, 2016, it said, and completion would depend on market conditions.

“The intended secondary listing is expected to diversify the shareholder base, increase visibility, expand research coverage by international brokers and improve overall trading liquidity of the company,” it said.

Petrom, the biggest oil company in Romania, is taking its cue from other Romanian companies. One of its shareholders, Fondul Proprietatea SA, and natural gas producer Romgaz SA have listed GDRs on the London exchange in the past two years.

Fondul Proprietatea reiterated on Wednesday it continued to review its options to reduce its shares in Petrom to below 15 percent from 19 percent via a public offering of both shares and GDRs, depending on market conditions and regulatory approvals.

“We consider the news as good, as the secondary listing would improve Petrom’s visibility,” Piraeus Bank Romania analysts said in an e-mailed note. “Most likely, the secondary listing would offer new opportunities to Fondul Proprietatea to reduce its exposure to Petrom.”