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IPO for Bharat Oman Refineries on hold till September

Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd., a joint venture between state-owned refiner-marketer Bharat Petroleum and Oman’s national oil company, will wait beyond September for its initial public offering (IPO ) if stock markets continue to remain weak, Chairman Ashok Sinha said. Bharat Oman Refineries plans to raise Rs2,900 crore (US$673.2 million) through the IPO for the Rs10,400-crore (US$2.4 billion) refinery project. It plans to privately place shares worth around Rs900 crore (US$208.9 million) with Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Rs26.9 crore (US$6.2 million) with the Madhya Pradesh government (MP). The remaining equity of Rs3,850 crore (US$893.8 million) will be raised through the issue of equity shares to BPCL, the government of Madhya Pradesh, certain investors pursuant to a pre-IPO placement and the IPO. Sinha also said the flexibility in the design for crude processing at the refinery, the superior product slate of the refinery, including premium quality auto fuels with ultra-low sulfur, the strategic location of the crude import facility, freight advantages resulting from the inland location of the refinery and potential residue upgrade to value-added products will enhance its projected gross refining margins. (July 4, 2008)<BR></P>