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PGN acquisition will burden Pertamina: Observer

Selasa 21 Jan 2014 13:15 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

Pertamina tower (illustration)

Pertamina tower (illustration)

Foto: wordpress.com

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SURABAYA -- Energy Observer of the University of Gajah Mada (UGM) Fahmy Radhi said acquisition of state gas distributor firm PGN by state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina would increase Pertamina's corporate burden.

"The acquisition of PGN by Pertamina will drive down PGN share prices. PNG's share prices have been fluctuating in the past one month due to negative sentiment over Pertmina's plan to acquire it," Fahmy said.

The price fluctuation is proof of market rejection of the acquisition, he said. "This is triggered by the government's gas liberalization policy."

He said that through the energy and mineral resources' minister's decree No. 19/2009, the government allowed business players to take part in natural gas transportation and commercial activities, allowing them to compete through an open access scheme.

Initially, Pertamina and PGN had different opinions with regard to the open access scheme. Pertamina's subsidiary Pertagas supported the open access scheme while PGN did not fully accepted it.

The reason was that they still faced a technical problem with regard to distribution and transmission pipeline networks which still had to be resolved.

Fahmy said if its reason to acquire PGN is its desire to apply the open access scheme, Pertamina would not gain significant benefit from the acquisition. It would even put further burden on Pertamina which already had many business lines.

The government has agreed to PT Pertamina's plan to acquire PT PGN, asking the state-owned oil and gas company to make an evaluation on its corporate action plan.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between State-owned Enterprise Minister Dahlan Iskan and the Board of Directors and Commissioners of Pertamina early this month.

For this purpose, the government appointed securities companies, PT Bahana Securities and PT Danareksa Sekuritas, to evaluate the merger plan.

"Both Bahana and Danareksa will weigh the various options for the planned merger and suggest an action plan for the state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina and state gas firm PGN," State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan noted at a press conference at his office on Thursday.

The merger may be conducted in one or two stages, he added.

"If it is done in two stages, PGN will buy PT Pertagas (a subsidiary of Pertamina) in the first stage, and PGN will be bought by PT Pertamina in the second stage," he explained.

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