Oil Report

Thai Esso IPO retail portion overbooked by 3 times

BANGKOK, April 21 (Reuters) - A retail portion of 161.9 million IPO shares offered by Esso (Thailand), a unit of Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N, was three times oversubscribed, its underwriter said on Monday.

"We are having to close the subscription for local investors early because demand exceeds the number of shares on offer," Manpong Senanarong, executive vice president of lead underwriter Phatra Securities PHAT.BK, told Reuters.

Esso, 87.5 percent owned by ExxonMobil, plans to raise up to 14.3 billion baht ($454 million) in this month’s initial public offering, Thailand’s largest so far this year.

It plans to sell up to 1.1 billion shares, of which 326.25 million shares come from the Finance Ministry, to domestic and foreign investors in a range of 9-13 baht each.

The share subscription period for retail investors was Monday and Tuesday.

Esso operates a complex refinery with a capacity of 177,000 barrels per day, accounting for 16 percent of total, and a paraxylene plant with annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes, accounting for 36 percent of total.

Morgan Stanley MS.N is lead underwriter for foreign markets. ($1=31.54 Baht) (Reporting Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by by Khettiya Jittapong, Editing by Ed Cropley)