THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave the green light for Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. to offer its P3.5-billion commercial papers under its latest debt financing program.

The listed independent oil firm can now proceed with the offer and sale of the first tranche of its P7-billion debt papers upon receiving the corporate regulator’s permit to sell, it told the stock exchange, Thursday.

Phoenix will be offering P2 billion in the said issue, which has an oversubscription option of up to P1.5 billion. The company still has not specified where the proceeds from this offer will be for.

Earlier this month, the oil company said it is planning to put up a P7-billion commercial papers program.

Last week, Phoenix reported that limited inventory replenishment due to credit tightening made it difficult for it to recover in the second quarter, resulting in “weaker-than-expected” volume in domestic fuel.

“Regional and local developments within the industry and credit markets have tightened access to working capital. We saw this hamper our recovery in the (second quarter) as we had to divert resources to debt service and pull back on inventory replenishment,” Phoenix President Henry Albert R. Fadullon said.

Between April and June, the company suffered a net loss of P5 million, albeit, “significantly lower” than the first quarter’s losses.

The company will swing back to profitability in the next quarter, according to Mr. Fadullon. “We are confident and hopeful that the worst is behind us,” he added.

Shares in Phoenix inched down 0.53% to close at P11.28 each on Thursday. — Adam J. Ang