STOCKS NEWS THAILAND-Barclays starts PTTEP with overweight

Thu Jul 5, 2012 10:58pm EDT

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Barclays Capital initiates coverage on Thailand's energy firm PTT Exploration and Production Pcl with an 'overweight' rating and a 12-month price target of 220 baht, offering a 23.6 percent potential upside.

PTT Exploration shares closed up 0.3 percent at 178 baht on Thursday.

"PTT Exploration & Production (PTT E&P), as Thailand's main oil and gas producer, offers leverage, in our view, to the tight South East Asian natural gas market, high returns and robust production growth in the medium term," Barclays said in a report.

"With the shares trading at a 20 percent discount to its local market and the potential that the company does not execute its proposed bid for Cove Energy and focuses on regional exploration opportunities and/or smaller asset deals, we take a positive view," it said.

0948 (0248 GMT) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap in Bangkok;

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