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Shell says Government Ordered it to List Unit on Philippine Stock Exchange

Company must comply with 10-year-old law deregulating the petroleum industry.

Royal Dutch Shell Group's Philippines unit has been ordered by Manila to list on the local stock exchange to comply with a 10-year-old law deregulating the petroleum industry, the company said on Sept. 10.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. plans to submit its initial public offering (IPO) to the energy department "this week," country manager Edgar Chua said.

Last month the department ordered Pilipinas Shell to submit its IPO to comply with a 1998 law requiring all oil refiners to list at least 10% of their shares on the exchange within three years of the statute's passage.

"The 10-year period since the passage of the law is too long a time for (Pilipinas Shell) in implementing the public offering of 10% of its common stocks," Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said in a letter to the company.

Earlier this year, Chua said Pilipinas Shell had shelved its IPO plans this year due to the tough market.

As of Sept. 10, Philippine share prices are down about 25.2% from their end-2008 levels.

Chua has also said the company had held back due to an ongoing review by its parent firm over whether to upgrade or shut down its 110,000 barrels per day refinery.

"We just have to look at the implications. So it means we have to study a bit more," Chua said without giving a timetable.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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