THE THAI Finance Ministry is to bail out the ailing Bangchak Petroleum Plc, the state-owned oil refiner and retailer. The Finance Ministry has a 45 per cent stake in Bangchak Petroleum but it is now more than US$70million in debt and faces a crucial repayment deadline in August. The company's refining margin has slipped to just US$1 per barrel, far below the $3-4 level considered viable.

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