PETRON CORP. grew its net income by 4% to P5.8 billion during the first quarter of 2018. — AFP

PETRON CORP. maintained the highest credit rating for its P20-billion outstanding bonds, a local debt watcher said.
In a statement over the weekend, Philippine Ratings Services Corp. (PhilRatings) said it has retained the PRS Aaa credit rating for the listed firm, indicating that its obligations are of the highest quality with minimal credit risk.
PRS Aaa is the highest on the debt watcher’s credit rating scale. The retainment of the rating pertains to Petron’s “extremely strong” capacity to meet its financial commitments.
The rating was given a stable outlook, which means that it is unlikely to change within the next 12 months.
Petron’s P20-billion bonds were issued back in 2016, as part of its P40-billion shelf registration program with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The issuance consisted of Series A fixed-rate bonds worth P13 billion due 2021, and Series B fixed rate bonds amounting to P7 billion due 2023.
The company’s shelf registration will last until 2019.
Philratings said it maintained the highest rating for Petron’s bonds due to its strong sales performance and market position not only in the Philippines but also in Malaysia. The company likewise cited Petron’s sound business strategy and experienced management, on the back of a positive outlook on the Philippine economy.
Citing data from the Department of Energy, PhilRatings said Petron is the leading player in the local oil industry, capturing a 27.6% share of the market through more than 2,400 service stations in the country. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. trailed with a 20% share, while Chevron has 7%.
Petron is also the third-largest player in Malaysia, behind Petronas (Petroleam Nasional Berhad) and Shell Malaysia. The company has around 600 service stations in Malaysia, bringing its global station network to more than 3,000.
The company is currently expanding its capacity by 90,000 barrels a day, with the goal of producing 270,000 barrels a day by 2020.
Petron is the largest contributor to the earnings of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., which holds an aggregate ownership of 68.3% of the company. — Arra B. Francia