After years of concern amid scandals, debt woes and low coal prices, there seems light at the end of the tunnel for Indonesia's largest coal producer Bumi Resources, a listed miner controlled by the Bakrie Group. Although its audited earnings (covering full-year 2016) will be released next month, a source within Bumi Resources said the company will post its first profit since 2011. The miner's net income is expected to reach USD $101.6 million, improving significantly from a net loss of USD $2 billion in the preceding year.
The rebound comes on the back of the rallying coal price in the second half of 2016 when Indonesia's benchmark thermal coal price (in Indonesian: Harga Batubara Acuan, or HBA) - a monthly price that is set by Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (based on domestic and international coal indices) - nearly doubled from USD $51.87 per metric ton in June 2016 to USD $101.69 per metric ton in December 2016. This sudden rally (primarily caused by China's restructuring of its coal industry) was a blessing for Bumi Resources as it managed to take big steps in its debt restructuring program.
After, earlier this week, Bumi Resources secured shareholders' approval for a USD $2 billion rights issue and USD $639 million of mandatory convertible bonds, the miner's debt will be reduced to USD $1.6 billion, from USD $4.2 billion previously.
Investors regained confidence in shares of Bumi Resources. On Thursday (09/02) the company's shares were up 1.86 percent to IDR 438 a piece in the first trading session. So far this year, the miner's shares gained 57.55 percent, while over the past 12 months its shares surged a staggering 776.00 percent.
Stock Quote Bumi Resources - BUMI:
Meanwhile, Dileep Srivastava, Director of Bumi Resources, said the miner's coal production is targeted to reach the range of 93 - 94 million metric tons in 2017, about 9 percent higher compared to the 86.5 million tons of coal produced in 2016 (with an average price of USD $41.2 per ton, 6 percent lower compared the price one year earlier).
Srivastava added that 60 percent of the company's 2017 coal sales is already committed. By the end of the first quarter this figure is expected to rise to 75 percent after the finalization of annual contracts with Japanese companies. Lastly, Srivastava stated that he remains optimistic about the outlook for coal prices in 2017 despite the HBA having plunged 18 percent (to USD $83.32 per metric ton) in the first two months of 2017.
Read more: Overview of Indonesia's Coal Industry