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NEWS - ASIA, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA Trent Hypermarkets will expand to 200 stores by 2018 In India, Trent Hypermarkets, Tata Group’s retail venture with UK-based retailer Tesco Plc that operates the Star Bazaar hypermarkets and Star Daily supermarkets, will expand to 200 stores in 20 cities by 2018 in partnership with state-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation. The expansion is part of the second largest oil marketing company’s shop-on-go initiative which was launched about three months ago. With shop-ongo, BPCL will offer home-delivery services for food and groceries to its customers for which it will use the Star Bazaar stores as the back-end. Additionally, Trent Hypermarkets will open its Star daily stores at the BPCL outlets. “We have tied up with Trent for our shop-on-go venture. A customer would place the order on BPCL’s website shopongo. in. BPCL will do the invoicing and our cooking gas delivery boys would deliver the order baskets. The back office will be run by Trent and we are integrating, our software and accounting,” said a senior official from BPCL on condition of anonymity. The Trent Hypermarket joint venture operates in states like Karnataka and Maharashtra which allow foreign firms such as Tesco to own as much as 49% stake in retail chains. Total maintains grip on Kenyan fuel retail business Total Kenya continues to hold the largest market share in the Kenyan oil marketing industry, according to a new report. The latest study from Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA) shows that Total holds 16 percent of the market attributed to its presence in almost every major town in the country. In the period ended December 2016 Vivo Energy came second at 15.9 percent, KenolKobil at 15.4 percent and Gulf Energy at 8.1 percent respectively. While the top four marketing firms hold about 50 percent of the market share the remaining portion is spread across thirty other marketing firms. PIEA chairman Powel Maimba said the demand of petroleum has seen consumption of petroleum energy increase by 7 percent to 6,323,405 in 2016 in comparison to 2015 which closed at 5,882,721.“Total has been leading over the years because they have a big retail network, they have been there longer than everybody. They have established customers both commercial and retail. They also participate in aviation, lubricant in exports and they are in every part of the industry,” said Mr Maimba. Total also commands a market in the LPG market share closing at 20.3 percent. PIEA analyst Kelvin Odundo said once the proposed amendments to the LPG and lubricants business segments happen growth is expected in investment and increase in demand as well. “LPG prices were significantly low. Last month they were averaging at Sh1,976. This price was last seen in 2009. Reforms are needed in the lubricants business segment. The amendment as proposed by the industry will not only enable the efficient management of the lubricants industry but further reposition Kenya as a lubricant manufacturer and exporter,” said Mr Odundo. Sri Lanka gov to use coMputers to prevent irregularities Sri Lankan Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, Chandima Weerakkody announced this month that the functioning of all fuel stations in the country will now be computerised and monitored to prevent irregularities at fuel stations. The Ministry will receive all the information regarding fuel stations, through this new procedure. The aim of this new initiative is to increase the efficiency of stations and to free customers from the difficulties faced at fuel stations. The pilot project of the new procedure has already commenced at a fuel station in Kaduruwela, Polonnaruwa. PV Oil looking to boost fuel network by 1000 sites in Vietnam PetroVietnam Oil, is to sell as much as 40% of the company to strategic investors, with a view to raising substantial funds through a public offering during the first half of this year. The money will be used to inject private investment into Vietnam’s state-controlled petroleum industry to open up the oil and gas sector and triple its nationwide gas station network to 1,550 outlets through 2022. PV Oil is currently Vietnam’s second-largest petroleum retailer with 22% of the retail market. Its larger competitor Petrolimex has approximately 50%. President and CEO Cao Hoai Duong recently said: “We still have big room ahead to grow. We are big enough to buy smaller competitors to expand market share”. We are planning $280 million in acquisitions over the next five years, with about $170 million coming from cash holdings and the rest from bank borrowings.” Duong said that as many as 10 potential strategic investors, including “major oil companies” from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East, have applied to buy the shares. He added: “We are looking for good strategic partners so we can make another M&A success,” referring to past acquisitions to expand its retail network ‘Most Attractive’. Manaseer increases its retail fuel network in Saudi Arabia Fuel retailer Manaseer Oil & Gas has announced the opening of four new gas stations in Saudi Arabia. “All the service stations are fitted with HSE equipment, ensuring a safer and healthier environment for employees and customers as well as residents of the surrounding areas,” the company said in a statement. The new stations also use a vapour recovery system that extracts fumes discharged from fuel tankers to protect the environment. The newly built sites bring Manaseer´s total number of gas stations to 53. The company has 10 more sites under construction and is hoping to open ten stations a year, as well as modernizing some of its current network. Phoenix Petroleum allots additional budget for expansion Independent oil company Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. will set aside an additional P10-billion budget that it will use to fund its expansion program over the next three years. In its filing with the local Bourse, Phoenix Petroleum disclosed that its board of directors agreed to spend P10 billion over the next three years for expansion, including possible acquisitions, to ramp up their aggressive growth plans.“We plan to spend P6 to P8 billion more over the next three years as we look to expand through acquisitions,” said President and CEO Dennis Uy during the company’s Annual Stockholders Meeting. This would be on top of the company’s P2-billion budget for capital expenditures this year, which it will use to increase its retail network, storage, and logistic capacities. Phoenix Petroleum posted profits of P1.09 billion and sold a record 1.5 billion liters in 2016 as sales volume from its retail, commercial, and aviation segments grew. The company also more than doubled its core earnings to P937 million in 2016 from the P416 million it made in the same period last year. The lubricant segment of its sales has been on uptrend, with it growing by 18-percent on market share, generally on year-onyear basis. The oil firm was propelled by the completion of its 51 new gasoline stations last year, that then beefed up its retail network to 505 stations as of end-2016. erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd. 11


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