Another Middle Eastern Oil Producer Plans an IPOBy
State energy producer also targets listing units on bourse
Plans meant to attract foreign investment, boost stock market
Oman Oil Co., the sultanate’s state-owned energy producer, is seeking advice from banks to sell some energy assets and list units on the local stock market, following plans by its larger peer Saudi Arabian Oil Co. to offer shares to the public.
The oil and gas producer, which has stakes in overseas businesses, wants to attract more foreign investment into the country, Oman Oil Minister Mohammed Al Rumhy said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. He didn’t identify the banks involved in the energy sales. State-run Salalah Methanol Co. will issue stock to the public, he later told reporters at a conference in Abu Dhabi.
“We are looking at the IPO option because we want to give a boost to the local stock market, and we want to see more foreign direct investments coming to the country,” Al Rumhy said in the interview.
Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of six oil-producing Arab monarchies, are restructuring national oil companies -- selling shares, merging units and cutting costs -- following a drop in crude prices. Saudi Aramco is planning an initial public offering, which the government claims will be the world’s largest. Qatar Petroleum is merging its two liquefied natural gas divisions, Qatargas and RasGas.
Oman, the largest Arab oil producer outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is expanding its energy industry and developing new sources of revenue as lower crude prices squeeze government coffers. It’s building a port and metals factory in the Arabian Sea town of Duqm.
Oman Oil holds stakes in Hungary’s Mol Nyrt., Oman Gas Co., Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals & Co. and the Musandam power plant, among other businesses. The company agreed to acquire Oxea GmbH from from Advent International Corp. in 2013 to expand beyond refining into chemicals and ingredients for manufacturing and consumer goods.
The government is not considering selling shares in state-owned Petroleum Development Oman, Al Rumhy said. PDO accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s crude production and almost all of its natural gas supply.
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— With assistance by Mahmoud Habboush