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The Restructuring Will Dictate at the Stock Exchange List

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27 Iul 2004 - 00:00

ECONOMY - July 27 2004

The stock analysts foresee a decrease of the Petrom stocks’ value to the equivalent of 5 eurocents, the price OMV paid for each stock. The possible re-increase of them will depend on the economical performances of the company and on the stock offer.

ADRIAN N. IONESCU

"After the reach of the reference threshold of the price paid by OMV for a SNP (Petrom) stock, this threshold is to be overcome at the stock exchange depending only on the economical performances and on the way the company’s restructuring will stimulate them", stated Marius Plugaru, the general manager of IEBA Trust, for Jurnalul National. For each of the 12.7 billions of SNP stocks bought on Friday, OMV paid 5 eurocents.

THE STOCK MARKET REACTS. On Friday, almost simultaneously with the signing of the privatization contract, the SNP stocks were suspended from transaction at the Bucharest SE, and ending the day with a -4.7% decrease, to the value of 2,420 lei per stock. 5 eurocents valued 2,156 lei according to the average currency rate of the National Bank of Romania (NBR).

Yesterday, in the first half of hour from the beginning of the transactions, SNP had rapidly decreased with 3.49%, to 2,350 lei per stock, and at the end of the day with a decrease of 2.47% in comparison to Friday, to 2,370 lei per stock.

The relatively big amount of sold stocks, approximately 23 millions, has given a lot to think about to the analysts, this blocking them from seeing this only as a momentary speculation.

THE ANALYSTS COMMENT. Most of the operators foresee that in the near future the SNP stocks will slowly decrease to a value bellow the threshold at which OMV bought its stocks. "The level of the stabilization and the further increases will also depend on the minority of the stock owners’ behavior as well as on the one of the employees, which are to receive an important amount of stocks", says Marius Plugaru, emphasizing that a big stock offer could increase the price.

The package owned by the employees’ association values approximately 1%, and amongst the other stock owners there is the investment fund Broadhurst, having a comparable amount. The manager of the financial investments services company IEBA believes that there are institutional foreign investors which bought and will buy SNP stocks, but only months from now their tendency could re-become constantly increasing and much more than the 5 eurocents threshold.

LURCHING. The analysts lurch in order to see the way in which the fundamental, economic and commercial changes that Petrom is to go through will evolve. Beyond the computations about the stocks that are to go for sale on the market, the company is to seriously change its assets’ structure, the way of managing its financial and human resources.

The ltd companies that Petrom is to found with assets from Arpechim Pitesti, from the gas station chains and others, could solve some of the personnel and productivity problems. "The salaries represent about 10% of the costs, so they are not such a burden like in the Western Europe. They are also pretty small and they allow us a gradual approach of the human resources", says Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, the OMV president.

The petroleum price and the one of the sold fuels are essential factors for the performances of an oil company, so, as long as the fuel prices in Romania increase, the SNP stocks’ price could increase as well.

COMPENSATIONS. The state budget will include, for 14 years, 50 million euros yearly for the cover of the possible environment compensations asked from Petrom for the historical contamination and the closing operations of the oil exploitations, stated for Mediafax sources in the Ministry of Commerce. The privatization contract gauges more than one type of compensations which the Romanian state grants for.

RELATIVELY SMALL

"In 1999 a price a little bit smaller had been offered for the same percentage, and the petroleum price was approximately 13-15 $ for a cask. Today, this price is more than double. The acquisition price (of Petrom) is a relatively small one, especially if the buyer has the control of the company" - Theodor Stolojan, co president of the Truth and Justice Alliance (a.k.a. the NLP - DP Alliance)

DIFFERENT OPPINIONS

"The alliance colleagues of Stolojan and Basescu (the leaders of the NLP - DP Alliance) have totally different opinions about the Petrom privatization. The first one says that the price is low, and the second admits that the Ministry has dealt a great job with OMV… The NLP leader (Theodor Stolojan) regrets that the robbery he premeditated didn’t work and that he is no longer able to do that" - Dan Ioan Popescu, Minister of Economy and Commerce.

Translation: SORIN BALAN

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