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Total weathers French storm

Total weathers French storm

OIL firms, property investors and hoteliers with interests in Cambodia had mixed fortunes on international markets last week, as strikes hit Europe while companies looked towards Asia for expansion plans.

Mass labour strikes across France shut 12 oil refineries and temporarily brought down stock price for oil giant Total – which has exploration interests in Block III in the Gulf of Thailand.

Total SA, also parent company of Total Cambodge, saw its share price on the New York Stock Exchange drop 1.8 percent to US$52.42 on Tuesday’s opening as the news of strikes at France’s oil refineries spread through the market.

Total, France’s biggest refiner, recovered better than its counterparts partly driven by an announcement on Wednesday of a “significant new gas and condensate discovery” in Brunei. Its share price climbed 1.7 percent on the day immediately following the news before settling back to its opening price.

Total ultimately rose 2.2 percent over the week to close at $54.88 on Friday, in spite of labour disputes continuing throughout the week.

Meanwhile, regional property fund manager JSM Indochina climbed 6.9 percent to $0.31 on Monday, where it remained all week, after announcing it had a buyer for its 49 percent interest in Vietnam-based Hieu Duc property. London-listed JSM, which is looking to sell its entire Cambodian portfolio, will receive $12.3 million for the sale.

The InterContinental Hotels Group, which has a hotel in Phnom Penh, saw its share price climb in New York after reports on Thursday it was planning to double the number of hotel rooms in greater China.

Already the world’s largest hotelier by rooms, the group’s shares jumped 1.4 percent on Friday’s open to $18.88 and hit a 52-week high of $18.93 before settling back to close the week at $18.80.

The company planned to add about 50,000 rooms in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan in the next three to five years, reports said. The group’s share price has climbed 37.7 percent in the last 12 months.

On the medical front, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which imports medicinal drugs to the Kingdom, saw its share price climb after announcing it would buy pain-killer manufacturer King Pharmaceuticals for $3.6 billion.

Pfizer shares rose 10 cents to $17.48, while King surged $3.99, or 39 percent, to $14.14 on the NYSE on Tuesday. Pfizer closed Friday at $17.75 – 1.66 percent up on its Monday open. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BLOOMBERG

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