Investor sentiment towards state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) such as Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Indian Oil (IOC) has improved sharply with crude oil prices falling to 18 year low. Shares of the OMCs, after hitting 52-week lows recently, rebounded by up to 15 per cent on Tuesday. And, they could see further gains.
The soft crude oil prices bode well for these companies, which may see a rise in their marketing margins, decline in working capital requirements and zero risks of subsidy burden.
Shares of oil marketing companies (OMCs), including Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), skid up to 4 per cent on the BSE after oil prices rose for the second straight day on Wednesday.
At 9:43 am, Brent Crude Futures were at $38.45 per barrel-mark, up 3.3 per cent, while the US WTI was at $35.26/bbl, up 2.62 per cent. This comes after an over 8 per cent rise in the oil prices on Tuesday. Prices inched higher on hopes of a supply cut by US producers.
Shares of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) were trading higher for the third straight day, up 4 per cent to Rs 500 on the BSE on Wednesday after reports said that Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft was keen to bid for the state-owned oil marketing company.
BPCL has rallied 13 per cent in the past three trading days to hit its highest level since December 17, 2019. It hit an all-time high of Rs 550 in intra-day trade on November 21.
The government is looking into state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd's (BPCL) investments in a gas block in Mozambique and has not yet formally given its approval to the firm for further spendings, sources said.
Bharat PetroResources Ltd (BPRL), an exploration and production subsidiary of BPCL, had in August 2008 bought a 10 per cent stake in Area-1 Offshore of the Rovuma Block from the US energy major Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $75 million.
Mumbai: Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, Kuwait Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total SA and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. are among companies that have had conversations with the government on asset sales and are likely to bid for the government’s stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd, two people aware of the matter said.
Shares of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) climbed as much as 5.54 per cent to Rs 517.45 apiece on the BSE in the intra-day deals on Wednesday. The stock spurted after news reports suggested energy giant Saudi Aramco is likely to express its interest in the strategic sale of BPCL.
The Modi government’s plan to privatise BPCL hasn’t received an enthusiastic response from prospective buyers. News reports suggest that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is unlikely to bid for India’s second largest fuel retailer. Apart from the UK-based BP that gave a measured response to the sale offer, no international oil company has expressed interest in buying BPCL after a group of secretaries approved the sale of the government’s 53.29 per cent stake last month.
The recent outperformance of BPCL against other OMCs is pricing in upside from a potential open offer in lieu of control premium that maybe paid by a strategic buyer in a scenario of privatisation. Our reverse valuation also suggests that the market has already ascribed 10X EV/Ebitda to BPCL’s marketing business, at a premium to global M&A in the fuel retailing business, while ignoring differences with developed markets. Reiterate ‘Sell’ amid adverse risk-reward balance.
Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday said if a non-government firm takes over the entire government stake in BPCL, it would likely downgrade the state-run oil marketing company by two notches to Ba1, which denotes medium-grade and is subject to moderate credit risk. Whether BPCL is to be privatised or sold to another PSU, the proposed stake sale of 53.29% government stake in the company will prompt bond redemption and attendant refinancing risks, the rating agency added.
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