Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Esso (Thailand) Pcl, a unit of Exxon Mobil Corp., rose to the highest in eight months in Bangkok trading after the Kao Hoon newspaper reported the U.S. company may soon complete the sale of its stake in the refinery.
The shares gained as much as 3.9 percent to 13.20 baht, the highest since May 20. They traded at 13 baht at 11:05 a.m. local time. It was the second-best performer in the benchmark SET50 Index, which rose 0.2 percent.
Exxon may offer to sell its 65 percent holding in the unit to Thai Oil Pcl at between 14 baht and 16 baht a share, the newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information. Thai Oil wants to acquire Esso because the two companies’ refinery facilities are located in the same area, according to the report.
“Speculation on Exxon’s divestment in Esso has been around for some time after the U.S. company sold its operations in Malaysia,” said Naphat Chantaraserekul, an analyst at DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand) Co. Ltd. “This speculation will continue to influence the trading of Esso shares.”
Thai Oil’s Chief Executive Officer Surong Bulakul today refuted the report. “We have not been in contact yet,” Surong said by phone. “It’s too early to conclude anything.”
Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul, Esso’s spokesman, declined to comment on the report.
Shares of Thai Oil, the nation’s largest oil refiner, were unchanged at 61.5 baht.
San Miguel Corp., the largest Philippine food and drinks company, agreed in August to buy three Exxon units in Malaysia for $610 million in its first acquisition of overseas oil assets.
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