South American states found a clever way to rein in their state oil companies in recent years, to make them respond better to both government regulation and the market, and to bring in a bit of cash in the process. They sold off a few shares of their state oil companies to the private sector, on the public stock market. Such a listing puts the company under control of securities regulators as well as environmental and energy regulators. It may cut down a bit on regulatory capture by the huge state oil companies. And if nothing else, the publicly floated stock price gives a benchmark of how the company is doing.
The most famous cases of this sort of semi-privatization are Petrobras (PBR on the New York Stock Exchange) and Ecopetrol (EC). For years, the idea has been bounced around of doing the same to PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company. But President Hugo Chavez, with his fierce rhetoric against privatization, has been an obvious obstacle.
Or maybe not.
CARACAS (Dow Jones)–Venezuelan state energy monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA, plans to list shares of a unit on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the company’s finance director said Monday.
PdVSA Finance Director Victor Aular said the company has hired Citic Securities Co. (6030.HK), a unit of Chinese conglomerate Citic Group, to advise on the planned listing, but didn’t offer the name of the unit.
PdVSA and its financial advisers were negotiating the listing and don’t have a time frame for when the listing could be completed, Aular said on the sidelines of a signing ceremony on Monday, where the Venezuelan government signed a number of accords with Chinese state-owned companies for new joint ventures and financing for projects in the oil, mining, and housing sectors.
He added that the PdVSA entity will be used to make share offerings and the unit will manage PdVSA’s minority stakes in commercial joint ventures between the Chinese and Venezuelan governments.
And here’s Bloomberg (scroll to the end of the article):
Citic will help PDVSA sell shares of a subsidiary on the Hong Kong stock exchange, PDVSA finance director Victor Aular told reporters yesterday at the signing ceremony, without saying when the listing will occur. PDVSA wants to list a subsidiary that has various stakes in joint ventures it controls, Aular said.
Well I’ll be.