Thu, Nov 30, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Vietnam sets auction date for stake in state brewer

Bloomberg

Vietnam is seeking to raise at least US$4.8 billion in the country’s biggest stake sale as an offering in a state-run brewer attracts potential bidders, including Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Asahi Group Holdings Ltd.

The government, which owns almost 90 percent of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco), is to offer 53.6 percent of the brewer in a Dec. 18 sale, Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade industry department head Truong Thanh Hoai said at a briefing yesterday in Ho Chi Minh City.

The initial price has been set at 320,000 dong per share, he said.

That would be about 29 percent more than the average trading price over the past six months through Tuesday.

Foreign investors are limited to 38.59 percent in the brewer, as 10.4 percent of stock is already held by shareholders from overseas.

The auction has attracted interest from 15 large foreign investors, Sabeco chairman Vo Thanh Ha said.

The shares are to be offered in a single tranche.

Vietnam, whose government has embarked on a plan to divest from some of the nation’s biggest companies, is attracting attention from investors in its growing market.

An expanding middle class and youthful population helped drive a 300 percent surge in beer demand since 2002, according to Euromonitor International, which estimated that the market was worth 147.2 trillion dong (US$6.5 billion) last year.

Shares of Sabeco yesterday surged 5.9 percent at the close in Ho Chi Minh City trading. They have more than doubled since their listing in December last year on expectations of the stake sale.

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