Malaysia’s state retail company Petronas Danganan Berhad (PDB) has bought over BP’s retail and downstream assets in the eastern state of Sabah for RM54 million. (US$1=RM3.8).

“The assets comprising 16 service stations, one landbank and a bulk depot at Sepangar Bay (were) acquired at a price of RM54 million representing approximately 2.4% of PDB’s current Net Tangible Assets,” the company said in a statement to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. PDB is a subsidiary of Petronas, Malaysia’s state oil and gas company.

Before the acquisition, PDB owned a chain of 600 retail stations in the country and a market share of around 36%. It has its sights on overtaking market leader Shell which has 830 stations.

Oil major BP is looking to reduce its presence in Southeast Asia’s downstream oil market, and had long indicated its intentions to sell off its downstream fuels business in Singapore and Malaysia. (EnergyAsia, June 2002 edition).

The company, which has already disposed of its retail operations in Thailand and Japan, continues to own and operate some 270 stations in Peninsula Malaysia and 30 stations in Singapore will be offered next.

The company is also looking to sell off its one-third stake in the Singapore Refining Company, which has been on the market for more than two years. ChevronTexaco and Singapore Petroleum Company are the other equal owners of SRC’s 285,000-barrel/day refinery on Jurong Island.