PNG to retain Oil Search stake

Papua New Guinea govt to raise $1.68bn to maintain 14.6% shareholding: report.

The Papua New Guinea government is planning to raise $1.68 billion to pay off a bond linked to its stake in ASX-listed Oil Search (OSH), according to Reuters.

Papua New Guinea has until March to raise the cash otherwise Abu Dhabi state-owned wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Co will claim the rights to the 14.6% shareholding, as per the terms of a 2009 agreement.

According to Reuters, the PNG government has hired UBS to assist with the raising and it may be a willing seller of the stake should an Oil Search suitor come knocking at its door with an offer at the right price.

The five-year bond was exchangeable for PNG’s stake in Oil Search at a price of $8.55 per share, 5.6 per cent below where the company’s stock sat at the close of local trade on Thursday.