Friday, 19 Jan 2018
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Vietnam on right track with divestment plan

Updated at Wednesday, 20 Dec 2017, 10:16
The Hanoitimes - As the divestment plan of Vinamilk was concluded last month, the successful selling of 343.66 million Sabeco shares or 53.59% with value of nearly 4.8 billion USD on December 18 proved the market is having a positive response from government’s action.
By the end of November, the Ministry of Industry & Trade decided the offering price for Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco), the largest Vietnamese brewer at 320,000 VND per share, a higher price than market valuation. As such, this decision was thought to put away local and foreign investors. However, after 3 weeks of announcing this initial offering price, Vietnam Beverage, a unit of Thai Beverage has purchased 53.59% Sabeco shares, while a domestic individual investor bought 20,000 shares of Sabeco. 
 
The government is pushing for the divestment plan in a number of state owned enterprises.
The government is pushing for the divestment plan in a number of state owned enterprises.
This successful deal has eased off concern from investors and some administrative agencies, showing the positive responses from the market toward determination and effort of the government in respecting market principles and meeting expectation for a transparent business environment. 

Through previous divestment plans, the government is pursuing diversified ownerships from economic components. The important issues would be the good service quality, brand, steady stream of revenue and creating jobs. After completing the Sabeco deal, the Ministry of Industry & Trade still have 36% shares at Sabeco. As such, the decision to sell the remaining shares will be considered in the coming time. 

Vietnam Beverage was established on October 2017 with registered capital of 681.66 billion VND. Thai Beverage indirectly owns 49% shares of F&B Alliance Vietnam, the company owns 100% shares of Vietnam Beverage. Vietnam’s per-capita beer consumption is forecast to grow to 47.8 liters by 2021 from an estimated 40.6 liters this year, making the Southeast Asian country the biggest beer consumer on a per capita basis among Asian countries, data from research firm Euromonitor International showed.

Sabeco dominates Vietnam’s beer market where its main rivals are Heineken and Habeco, formally Hanoi Beer Alcohol & Beverage JSC. It expects the introduction of premium products to help it maintain a market share of 40 to 42 percent over the next two or three years, Ha said. Vietnam has one of the world’s most attractive beer markets and the biggest in Southeast Asia, thanks to a young population that consumed nearly 4 billion litres in 2016.

On September, the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) announced the sale of a 3.33% stake in Vinamilk, with the aim of raising more than $280 million for state budget. SCIC currently owns 39% of the dairy. As such, after the move, SCIC’ total shares at Vinamilk will be around 36%. UBS AG Singapore and Saigon Securities are advising on the sale. During the first nine months of 2017, Vinamilk had sales of 38.7 trillion dong ($1.7 billion) and net profit of 8.5 trillion dong, year-on-year increases of 10% and 13.6%, respectively. Domestic sales grew over 10% year-on-year, but export turnover slowed due to continued strife in Iraq, Vinamilk's largest export market. The dairy is aiming for 51 trillion dong in revenue and 9.73 trillion dong in net profit for 2017.
Ngoc Thuy
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