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Aramco yet to finalise 40pc Petron stake sale.

HONG KONG: Saudi Aramco has yet to finalise the 40 per cent sale of its stake in Philippine oil refiner Petron Corporation to London-based investment fund Ashmore Group, an Aramco spokesman said yesterday.

Aramco has informed the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) of its intention to sell the Petron stake to Ashmore, but has yet to hear back from PNOC, the spokesman for Aramco Overseas Company (AOC) said.

PNOC has first option to buy the stake, and has 60 days in which to decide whether or not to exercise the option, he said.

"This transaction is by no means complete," he said. "We have submitted our final notice to PNOC of our desire to sell the stake in Petron and await their response."

Earlier yesterday, a report stated that the stake, valued at $550 million, had been sold.

Payment for the stake would be made in two instalments, the first of $200m when the deal is closed and the remaining $350m within 12 months.

Citigroup advised AOC, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, on the deal.

Aramco bought the Petron stake when it was privatised in 1994. It has said its divestment from the Philippines would allow it to focus on its $50 billion domestic energy expansion programme and on international expansion in markets with the potential for significant future growth in oil consumption.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:May 4, 2008
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