Temasek: Why raise £? Buying oil minor?

In Energy, Temasek on 21/07/2010 at 6:18 am

Temasek, which had previously issued bonds only in US and Singapore dollars, sold £200m of 12-year bonds and a further £500m of 30-year debt.  The 30-year bonds were popular  with British pension funds because there is a shortage of long-term UK debt.

The 12-year bonds were priced at 95 basis points above UK government bonds, while the 30-year paper yielded an extra 90bp over gilts.

Temasek declined to comment on the rationale for the sale, the wires and FT quoted people close to the deal saying it was a move t obtain relatively cheap long-term funding, diversify its investor base and  borrowing profile.

There has been speculation that Temasek would invest in BP. The fundraising was not linked to any new investments in the UK, according to people familiar with the matter, the wires and FT reported.

But could Temasek be interested in a small London listed oil & gas company? It is interested in the energy sector.There  are recent precedents.

Korea National Oil Corp, South Korea’s state oil company, recently announced a takeover approach for Dana Petroleum (mkt cap£1.4bn), raising renewed speculation over the next possible UK target. Other smallish companies include Cairns Energy (mkt cap: £6.2bn), Tallow Oil (£10bn) and Premier Oil (£1.7bn). They are too small for the Chinese oil companies to even think about. China’s Sinopec beat KNOC  to control Addax Petroleum by making a US$7.2bn.

And in March, state-controlled Oil India and India Oil Corp made a joint unsolicited offer for Aim-quoted Gulfsands Petroleum, mkt cap £0.3bn, which was rejected.

The £700m raised by Temasek could buy something peanutty in a sector it is interested in investing in.

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