The Sun (Malaysia)

Oman OQ Gas pipeline unit plans Muscat’s biggest IPO since 2005


Oman’s OQ Gas Networks (OQGN), the pipelines business of state oil giant OQ, said yesterday it planned to float up to 49% of its shares, in what is expected to be the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the sultanate in almost two decades.

The offering, which begins this month, will give investors with access to growth in the company that holds a natural monopoly over essential gas transport in the country, the company said in a statement.

As the exclusive operator of Oman’s gas transport system, OQGN supplies natural gas to power plants, free zones, industrial clusters, LNG complexes and other customers.

The IPO could raise between US$700 million and US$800 million (RM3.2 billion and RM3.7 billion), a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, which would make it the largest since Oman Telecommun­ications (Omantel) raised 288 million rials (US$748 million) by selling a 30% stake in 2005.

OQGN managing director Mansoor Al Abdali declined to comment on how much the IPO is expected to raise, but said the largest IPO in Oman’s history was Omantel.

“We might be competing with that level,” he said in a call with reporters.

OQ, directly and indirectly through Oman Energy Trading Company Limited and Oman Oil Services Limited, is offering up to 49% of the shares, the document said.

The selling shareholde­rs reserve the right to amend the size at any time before the end of the subscripti­on period. Immediatel­y after the offering, OQ will continue to hold at least 51%.

OQGN will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares in the offering, according to the statement.

The shares are expected to list on the Muscat Stock Exchange in October. – Reuters

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