Uptrend seen for oil refiners in Asia

Oil refiners are getting all the love from investors even as drivers braced for another dose of painful fuel price hike at local pump stations with the crude oil prices in the international market hovering near a two-year high.

In the market yesterday, shares in Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd climbed 11 sen, or 1.3% to close at RM8.47 with 2.137 million shares transacted. The stock is within sight of its Aug 21 peak of RM8.59. It had surged 320% so far this year, buoyed by expectation that rising fuel prices will boost its profits.

Meanwhile, bigger rival Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd jumped 20 sen, or 1.7% higher yesterday to close at an all-time high of RM11.70 on thin volume. Shares in Petron, which is the third-largest petrol pump station operator in Malaysia and also owns an 88,000 barrels per day refinery, had surged almost 200% so far this year.