misc berhad lng carrier

Image: MISC Berhad

(Bloomberg) — MISC Bhd., the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas shipper, surged the most in more than 14 years in Kuala Lumpur stock trading after receiving a takeover offer from Malaysia’s state-owned energy company Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

The stock advanced 17 percent to close at 5.22 ringgit, its steepest increase since September 1998, with trading volume about 8.2 times its three-month daily average. It was the biggest gainer in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which added 0.4 percent.

Parent Petroliam Nasional, or Petronas, offered 5.30 ringgit per share in cash for the remaining 37 percent stake in the shipping unit, according to a stock exchange filing on Jan. 31, valuing the deal at 8.8 billion ringgit ($2.8 billion.) That’s 19 percent more than MISC’s last traded price of 4.45 ringgit on Jan. 31, before trading was halted for the announcement. The exchange was closed Feb. 1 for a holiday.

“The takeover offer was a positive surprise,” Raymond Yap and Calvin Yew, analysts at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., wrote in a report dated Feb. 1. “We suspect minority shareholders will accept the offer given that the weak tanker shipping markets are expected to keep the share price low over the next one to two years.” They raised their share price estimate to 5.30 ringgit from 4.32 ringgit to match the offer price.

Before today’s surge, MISC shares have tumbled about 46 percent over the past two years as it booked losses and exited the liner industry. It shuttered its container-ship business last year to focus on LNG tankers after the cargo-box unit made $789 million of losses over three years due to global overcapacity and falling rates.

Today’s share price jump boosted MISC’s gain this year to 21 percent, compared with the 3.2 percent decline in the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index.

MISC operates the world’s second biggest fleet of LNG ships after Qatar Gas Transport Co., according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.

- Gan Yen Kuan, Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.

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