The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) is looking a the possibility of selling a 20 per cent stake to a strategic shareholder, while offloading 5 per cent to the retail investors, as part of its listing process.
This was revealed by Vu Anh Minh, director of the Ministry of Transport’s corporate management department, at a recent meeting.
Minh added that the state ownership will be gradually reduced from 75 per cent to 65 per cent.
However, the final decision regarding the listing will be taken only after the ministry submits the initial public offer (IPO) schedule to the prime minister this month, for his approval. The auction is expected to happen in the third quarter.
Last month, French airfield operator Aeroports de Paris said that it was interested in a 30 per cent stake in ACV.
Last year, in December, ACV’s corporate value was determined at VND37 trillion ($1.72 billion), in which the state capital accounts for some 54 per cent.
Established in 2012 by merging three airports corporations in the north, central and the south of Vietnam, ACV is Vietnam’s largest airport operator, having interests in nine subsidiaries, affiliate companies and joint ventures. It directly manages eight international and 14 local airports.
As Vietnam opens up to private investment in the sector of transportation infrastructure, it will allow private companies to operate parts of the airports. This is expected to stimulate competition in the industry that has been long monopolised by the state players. The private investment initiative has been piloted with the opening up of the Noi Bai International Airport’s Terminal T1 and Phu Quoc International Airport.
The ministry of transport is urging equitisation process of businesses under its management, which is likely to attract investors into the sector.
Since late 2013, 10 construction and infrastructure corporations have been privatised. Last year, these 10 firms’ total asset jumped 18.6 per cent, revenue increased 15.3 per cent, profit increased 83 per cent and salary for their employees rose by a combined rate of 22.6 per cent.
Apart from the airport operator, 2015 will see the IPOs of two highway developers, the Vietnam Expressway Corporation and Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure.
“I believe corporate governance within these state-owned transportation companies will improve, which will, in turn, usher in better performance in terms of operating profit. There will be more promising stocks for investors to pour their money in,” Minh commented.