O&G counters rally on expectation of project rollouts

By MARK RAO / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Oil and gas (O&G) counters on Bursa Malaysia rallied yesterday driven by higher energy prices and expectation of project rollouts.

Upstream player Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd was the top active counter with its price jumping 39.8%, or 18.5 sen, to a one-year high at 65 sen yesterday with 416.67 million shares exchanging hands.

Support service provider UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMW-OG) was the second most active stock of the day, with 138.69 million shares exchanging hands as its share price rose five sen, or 16.7%, to 35 sen.

Icon Offshore Bhd rose 18.8%, or 4.5 sen, to 28.5 sen, while Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd rose 5.5 sen, or 7.48%, to 79 sen.

KNM Group Bhd rose three sen, or 11.76%, to 28.5 sen with 127.5 million shares traded.

The buying was broad based, as small and financially troubled firms also attracted buying interest.

Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd and Alam Maritim Resources Bhd — companies who are presently undergoing debt restructuring via Bank Negara Malaysia assistance — were also actively traded for the day.

Alam Maritim rose three sen, or 16.2%, to 21.5 sen, while Perisai rose one sen to 5.5 sen.

The sector interest comes despite — in the first half of this year — many industry players remained operating in the red, while several have defaulted on their debt.

JF Apex Securities Bhd analyst Lee Cherng Wee said the rally was sparked by the stronger oil prices registered over the recent weeks.

Lee added that Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s reported allocation of RM6 billion for maintenance, construction and modification contracts had only a marginal effect on the rally.

“The sector performance was driven by renewed confidence on O&G prices, with prices potentially reaching US$60 (RM251.40) per barrel,” he told The Malaysian Reserve yesterday.

“However, the recovery in prices will remain contingent on supply and demand dynamics rebalancing.”

Oil prices have been propped up above US$50 per barrel since July 25 this year, with prices performing around US$55.37 per barrel yesterday.