Fri, Aug 04, 2006 - Page 12 News List

CPC plans to issue bonds next month


State-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油) plans to issue bonds worth NT$15 billion (US$456.41 million) in September, the largest amount the nation's biggest oil refiner has ever issued, a company official said yesterday.

Cash-hungry CPC reported a deficit of NT$21.6 billion for the first seven months of the year because of surging crude oil prices, said Jessica Tang (唐苑莉), a division director in CPC's industrial relations department.

Tang did not give details of the bond issuance.

CPC hiked wholesale gasoline prices by NT$1 last month, the third price rise this year.

As crude prices remain high and there is no sign that the company's losses will start to decrease, the word is that CPC is likely to increase wholesale gasoline prices again.

Tang refused to comment on such speculation, but said CPC hopes to set the price to match supply and demand over the long-run, as chairman Pan Wenent (潘文炎) has said several times since he took the post earlier this year.

Chinese-language reports said yesterday that CPC has proposed having the gasoline price set by the market, but Minister of Economic Affairs Morgan Hwang (黃營杉) said he had not seen any such proposal.

"Floating prices are the long-term goal, but it should be gradually implemented or it may [have a negative] impact on the domestic economy," Hwang told reporters yesterday at a seminar in Taipei.

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