COSL Issues Bonds

Thursday, May 24, 2007
China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), the largest oilfield service provider in Asia, has issued corporate bonds valued at 1.5 billion yuan ahead of an expected listing on the mainland stock market, according to a report on Xinhua.

It is the first time COSL, and its parent company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore oil producer, has issued corporate bonds on the mainland market.

The 15-year bonds have an interest rate of 4.48 percent and have been classified as "AAA", the highest rating, by the Dagong Global Credit Rating. They were issued four days before the central bank announced a rise in interest rates and took four days to sell out.

Zhong Hua, executive vice president and CFO, said the bond issue was "the first step and a small step" taken by the company to enter the mainland capital market.

The company's debt to equity ratio surged from 5.2 percent in 2005 to 23.2 percent last year, but Wu Yanyan, a spokeswoman of the COSL Beijing Branch, said the percentage still had room to grow as it remained low compared with companies of a similar scale.

COSL reported a 32.9-percent rise in revenue from 2005's 4,789 million yuan to last year's 6,365 million yuan. Its market value surged by 74 percent from 12.4 billion HK dollars in 2005 to last year's 21.6 billion HK dollars.

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