Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways eyes $1b market cap with listing next year

Photo: Bamboo Airways's Facebook page

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways expects a market capitalization of as much as $1 billion at its planned listing in the first quarter next year.

The startup carrier plans to list about 400 million shares on either the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange or Hanoi Stock Exchange as early as January, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Khac Hai said in a phone interview in Hanoi. Bamboo Airways expects to set the initial price for its trading debut in the range of 50,000 dong to 60,000 dong ($2.59) per share, he added.

“We expect the stock market to do well from now until next year as the macro-economic conditions are very positive,” Hai said. In Vietnam, companies often sell shares months before a listing in an exchange. Bamboo, however, plans to list shortly after the share sale.

The benchmark VN Index of Vietnamese stocks rose 4.9% in the third quarter, making it Southeast Asia’s top performer as the country continues to be a beneficiary of supply chains shifting away from China amid its trade war with the U.S. The gauge is up about 11% this year.

Shares of FLC Group JSC, which owes Bamboo Airways, jumped 6.9% as of 9:56 a.m. local time, most since July 25, 2018 while the VN Index was up 0.2%.

Bamboo Airways Chairman Trinh Van Quyet said last month that the company expects to raise about $100 million from the IPO. The carrier’s registered capital will increase to about 4 trillion dong from 2.2 trillion dong after the share sale, according to Hai.

The airline, which joined Vietnam’s crowded skies last January, seeks to tap into the nation’s growing middle class. The country’s airports handled 106 million passengers in 2018, up about 13% from the previous year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam. Conglomerate Vingroup JSC plans to start Vinpearl Air flights next year. Vietravel Airlines, owned by Vietnam tour operator Vietravel, also expects to begin offering fights in 2020.

The new carriers face competition from entrenched domestic airlines: state-run Vietnam Airlines JSC and budget carrier VietJet Aviation JSC. The national carrier owns 70% of low-cost operator Jetstar Pacific Airlines Aviation JSC, with Qantas Airways Ltd. holding the remainder. Vietnam Airlines also owns Vietnam Air Services Co., known as Vasco.

Bamboo Airways currently operates 13 aircraft on 25 domestic and international routes. The company will receive five more new planes this month and expects to increase its fleet to 25 aircraft by the end of this year and to 30 in 2020, Hai said. It plans to be the first Vietnamese carrier to operate direct flights to the U.S., expected in late 2020, Quyet said in August.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.