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PTT’s Mulls Big Move into Vietnam

Thailand’s leading oil and gas firm, PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) is gearing up for a massive $3.1 billion equity sale to finance the $1.9 billion acquisition of Cove Energy for which the company had successfully outbid Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:$RDS.A). PTT’s equity sale will be the biggest ever in Thailand in which shares will be priced at 142 baht/share ($4.63/share) which is 7.2% lower than its Friday (7th Dec) price of 153 baht.  The 650 million shares will be sold to its parent PTT Plc and existing shareholders. Moreover, PTT has set out on an ambitious four year $11 billion investment plan through which it seeks to increase its operations in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Myanmar, Oman and Vietnam. PTT has significant representation in MSCI Thailand Index Fund ETF (AMEX:$THD).

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SE Asia Hydropower Growth Vital but Unbalanced

While the world’s attention was diverted from the reforms in Myanmar to Hurricane Sandy in the U.S., the little known landlocked communist country Laos–with a population of just 6.4 million and one of the least developed countries of the world — was finally able to secure itself a place in the world trade organization (WTO) after it applied for membership some 15 years ago. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank is expecting Laos to post GDP growth of 7.9% for 2012/13 which will be driven in part by its electricity sector. Laos has been working on several hydro power plants and its production in the next three years will reach 3,856MW from the current level 2,560MW. It has 17 hydropower plants working at the moment that light up 78% of its houses while it has dozens of projects in pipeline. If things go according to its plan, Laos would emerge as the net exporter of electricity by 2015, a landmark which most of its peers have been unable to reach.

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The Road to Myanmar

Thailand’s largest oil and gas firm, PTT Pcl, which has significant representation in MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (AMEX:$THD) is moving into Myanmar’s oil retailing by partnering with a local firm as the country opened its doors to foreign investment following the cessation of US trade sanctions after 60 years. Presently, PTT is involved in upstream oil operations in Myanmar.  According to reports, the company will now operate under its subsidiary PTT Oil Myanmar which will operate in oil retail, wholesale, storage and transport.

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Capital Account Discusses Myanmar

See some of our other commentary about Myanmar, especially the pipeline and port project at Dawei that are mentioned in the interview here.

Banking on Indonesian Growth

By the end of the 2nd quarter of 2012 it became clear that Indonesia was going to be the engine of growth for ASEAN over the next few years.  With GDP growth exceeding expectations at 6.5% and foreign investment rising 30.2% year over year the worries over political and fiscal distress in Europe and the U.S. faded somewhat.  Now that the Western central banks have announced some form of open-ended quantitative easing there isn’t a more critical time to reiterate the great opportunity that Southeast Asia represents as a major producer of wealth in the world.

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Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital.  (read more)

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