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Petrovietnam Transportation: Guaranteed Business

Petrovietnam Transportation (PVT) is a business majority controlled by the mighty Petrovietnam Mother company. It has a monopoly over the business of transportation of raw materials and finished processed goods from the new Dung Quat oil refinery, among other businesses.

This was listed at 100,000 per share during the bubble times in 2007 and although I believe that Dung Quat oil refinery does not have a good location and hence is a good investment for the Petrovietnam mother company only if oil prices remain high and transportation costs are thus a small component of the final price of its products. This is why the Dung Quat oil refinery project had been delayed multiple times and several foreign investors in the project had withdrawn and Petrovietnam is going it much alone. Wikipedia has a good summary of the refinery's history. Notwithstanding this, looking at the current trend of global oil prices, high oil prices seem here to stay and this is crucial for the continued economic relevance of Dung Quat's refinery services.

More importantly however, PVT will be almost guaranteed to have new businesses once Nghi Son and Long Son refinery comes online. The other refineries will likely do better having better locations. The Vinashin problem affected this company (some ships are made in Vinashin-owned shipyards) no doubt and the company needs to raise a lot of money in the coming years to increase their fleet of ships. So this is considered risky. But the oil and gas business is doing well in Vietnam and looks like it will continue to do so and with it, PVT will likely be quite a substantial company in the future.

The prices that the company can lease out their tankers (their main assets) is loosely related to the global Baltic Dirty Tanker Index. This index had its highs in mid of 2008 and now is very much off the highs. It seems to be stabilizing recently though. This is a good sign. Increasingly, the world seems to look like it is able to avoid a hard landing in 2013/14 and a serious slowdown in China. This is however, a speculative trading position currently.

Last but not least, I have noticed that global shipping stocks in a similar sector (e.g. Frontline) had come off its lows and this should bode well for PVT.

Disclosure: I have just bought PVT stocks on 16 Mar 2012.

Note: Interestingly, PVT's CEO Mr Phạm Việt Anh had bought PVT shares 1 to 2 years ago at prices much higher than the current market price. This is a vote of confidence that I think is worth noting.