Thai petchem stocks up on govt aid to lift ban on Rayong projects

24 December 2009 05:21  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nurluqman Suratman

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Thai petrochemical stocks extended their gains on Thursday on reports that the national government supports the appeal to lift suspension on some of the 65 major projects in Mab Ta Phut, Rayong province.

At 12.50 hours Singapore time (0450 GMT), PTT was up 0.42% at baht (Bht) 241.00 ($7.23), PTT Chemical was 1.02% higher at Bht74.00 and PTT Aromatics was up 1% at Bht25.50.

Integrated Refinery and Petrochemical Complex (IRPC) was steady at Bht4.44 and Siam Cement was unchanged at Bht235.

The Thai Cabinet has agreed to ask the Supreme Court to take out 19 other petrochemical projects in its suspension list, in addition to the initial list of 11 that were allowed to proceed, according to media reports.

The government deemed that these 19 projects have very limited environmental impact, based on reports.

The Siam Cement Group, which has a naphtha cracker affected by the suspension, noted that the Thai government is merely acting as a consolidator in the appeal process, said a company source.

On 2 December, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the suspension of 65 projects in Thailand's petrochemical hub of Mab Ta Phut, while clearing 11 others that promote the use of clean energy.

Seven of PTT’s projects had been cleared to push through, along with two SCG projects.

While a government intervention lifted market sentiment, the decision to let the projects proceed ultimately lies with the courts, analysts said.

“We still have to wait what the government will give in its file to the Supreme Court. We need to wait for the court to decide,” said Suttichai Kumworachai, a Bangkok-based analyst with brokerage KGI Securities.

The government’s move was largely seen as symbolic to shake off the negative sentiment that developed in the market when the project suspension was announced, said Naphat Chantaraserekul, a Bangkok–based analyst at Kim Eng Institutional Research.

“It is unlikely that the court will be influenced by the government. The court will decide based on the law and not what the government asked them to do,” he said.

($1 = Bht33.32)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan's Asian Chemical Connections blog
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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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