Temasek in $3bn Keppel bid

Temasek’s attempt to take control of Keppel comes as the Singapore state investor continues to consolidate its hold on the Asian maritime industry. (Reuters)
Updated 22 October 2019

Temasek in $3bn Keppel bid

  • Offer sparks industry shake-up talk in rig sector, sending shares upwards despite oil price slump

SINGAPORE: Temasek Holdings is offering to buy control of Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp. in a S$4.1 billion ($3 billion) deal that could spark consolidation in the domestic rig building sector that is battling the effects of low oil prices.

The announcement, confirming what sources told Reuters on Monday, boosted shares in rig builder Sembcorp Marine by 12 percent on expectations of a likely shake-up in the industry.

On Tuesday, shares rose a further 2.2 percent, while shares in parent Sembcorp Industries were steady after rallying 10 percent in the previous session.

Keppel’s offshore and marine unit, and Sembcorp Marine, the two local players, have been hit by a prolonged downturn in the global sector in the last five years as oil prices tumbled.

“There has long been talk of a potential restructuring of businesses under the Keppel Corp. and Sembcorp Industries stable such as the merging of the offshore & marine yards,” said Low Pei Han, senior research analyst at the Bank of Singapore. 

Keppel is involved in rig-building, property development, infrastructure and investments

Singapore state investor Temasek said if the deal is completed, it would work with Keppel’s board to undertake a strategic review of its businesses. The deal is its biggest since a $3.7 billion minority stake investment it made in Germany’s Bayer in April 2018.

Temasek already owns 20.5 percent of Keppel and said it would increase that stake to 51 percent, subject to regulator approvals.

An indirect fully-owned subsidiary of Temasek will offer S$7.35 in cash for each Keppel share, a premium of nearly 26 percent over Friday’s S$5.84 close. 

Keppel’s shares soared 15.7 percent to S$6.77 on Tuesday, below Temasek’s offer of S$7.35.

“The partial offer reflects our view that there is inherent long-term value in Keppel’s businesses, notwithstanding the challenges presented by the current business and economic outlook,” Tan Chong Lee, president of Temasek’s investment arm, said in the statement.

 


Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

Updated 09 August 2020

Aramco profits fall in tough quarter, but sees partial recovery from COVID-19 impact

  • Aramco see’s “partial recovery” from pandemic impact
  • Aramco president says company remains resilient

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported a net income of $6.57bn for the second quarter of 2020, the period which witnessed the most volatile oil market conditions for many decades.

The result, announced to the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh where the shares are listed, compared with income of $24.7 bn last year.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.”

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Aramco’s dividend - a big attraction for the investors who bought into the world’s biggest initial public offering last year - will remain as pledged, Nasser added. Cash flow in the quarter amounted to $6.106 bn.

““Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter,” he said.

Aramco said the loss was “mainly reflecting the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemicals margins, partly offset by a decrease in production royalties resulting from lower crude oil prices and a decrease in the royalty rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, lower income taxes and zakat as a result of lower earnings, and higher other income related to sales for gas products.”

Sales and revenue in the period - which saw oil prices collapse on “Black Monday” in April - fell 57 per cent to $32.861 bn from the comparable period last year. 

Nasser said he was cautiously optimistic that the world economy was slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic lockdowns.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.

“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world,” he added.

Aramco expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25bn to $30bn range it has already indicated for this year.