Listing of Petronas division could raise as much as $5bn

STATE-owned Malaysian oil and gas group, Petronas could raise up to $4.8bn (£2.9bn) from an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in its newly formed chemicals subsidiary, more than double earlier market estimates.

The prospectus for the IPO of Petronas Chemicals Group reveals shares will be priced at between MS$4.50 and MS$5.20. But the group has increased the amount of stock to be sold from 30 per cent to 35.6 per cent. The increased offering reflects the strength of Asian capital markets whose local economies are in buoyant mood as well as an influx of western investment funds seeking higher returns. Selling the maximum share allocation would raise $4.78bn, compared with initial estimates for the sale of about $2bn. The listing could become Malaysia’s biggest capital raising, dwarfing the listing of Maxis, the telecommunications group, which raised $3.3bn in 2009.

Petronas has seen an enthusiastic institutional response to its chemicals offering, which follows the IPO of a sister company, Malaysia Marine & Heavy Engineering Holdings.

Malaysia Marine raised M$2.03bn ($656.4m) in October, with the offering heavily oversubscribed by institutional investors.

Several other Petronas subsidiaries are already listed on the Malaysian stock market including Petronas Gas and KLCC Property Holdings. Petronas has merged 22 chemicals companies to form the chemicals group.