PETRON Corp., the country’s leading oil refiner announced that it successfully listed P100 million perpetual preferred shares in the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday.

The P10 billion Petron shares issue is the single largest perpetual preferred shares listing in the Exchange.

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"The strong response to our issue reflects the trust and confidence of the investment community in the viability of Petron over the long-term," Petron President Eric Recto said.

Mr. Recto added, "It likewise confirms the public’s belief in the company’s undisputed market leadership backed by the biggest refining capacity in the country as well as an extensive distribution and service station network, sound financials and growth potential, including numerous synergies with the San Miguel Group."

From the original 50 million preferred shares worth P5 billion, Petron exercised it’s over allotment option of another 50 million shares or P5 billion due to high demand from institutional and retail investors.

Recto said proceeds from the issuance will fund its capital expenditures aimed at enhancing its market dominance and ensuring Petron’s growth momentum for many years to come.

As of last year, Petron embarked on the largest retail network expansion program in its history.

From January 2009 to January 2010, the company opened 200 new service stations bringing its total service station count to 1,463 — the largest retail network in the industry.

This year, the company is also looking at upgrading its power-generating system at its 180,000 barrel-per-day Bataan refinery.

"The planned upgrade will ensure a more reliable and economical power supply at a time when the company is studying the construction of additional facilities," Recto said.

In the past five years alone, Petron has invested over US$400-million in its Bataan refinery.

In early 2005, it commissioned an Isomerization Unit and Gasoil Hydrotreater to meet the stringent requirements of the Philippine Clean Air Act.

In 2008, it inaugurated a Petro Fluidized Catalytic Cracker and a Propylene Recovery Unit allowing it to convert more fuel oil into white products (e.g. LPG, diesel and gasoline) and enabling the production of the valuable petrochemical feedstock propylene.

Last year, a Benzene, Toluene and Xylene unit was completed which allows the production of more environment-friendly Petron gasolines, more stringent than the government mandated Euro 2 standard. This unit likewise allows additional petrochemical feedstock production.

Recto, meantime said "we wish to thank our partners in this undertaking who demonstrated savvy and a deep appreciation of the market despite a volatile business environment."

Among their Lead Managers and Underwriters for this issue are BDO Capital, BPI Capital, ING, RCBC Capital and UnionBank.

Petron has more than 1,400 service stations nationwide and it is expected to further increase this year with their expansion projects.

Petron supplies nearly 40 percent of the country's fuel requirements. (MSN/Sunnex)