Vietnam Airlines has received a green signal from Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the country’s largest stock exchange, to list 1.4 billion shares on it.
The airlines’ shares, which are currently traded on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), will publicly list on the southern bourse, locally known as HOSE.
The state-owned carrier, which is currently 86 per cent owned by the Ministry of Transportation, had its IPO in 2014 when it offloaded a minuscule 3.48 per cent equity stake.
Shares of Vietnam Airlines are traded on UPCoM at around VND 40,900 apiece, valuing the company at around $2.5 billion.
The country’s largest airline by passengers has been facing stiff competition from private budget carrier VietJet and the latest player Bamboo Airways, which kickstarted its operations on January 16. Bamboo Airways is owned by real estate major FLC Group.
Vietnam Airlines, which has a 51 per cent stake in the Jetstar Pacific joint venture, reportedly had a market share of less than 42 per cent in 2017, lower than the budget carrier VietJet’s share at 43 per cent.
The state-owned carrier had proposed to move its shares from UPCoM to HoSE last year but that plan had failed to materialise.
Vietnam Airlines earned record revenues of VND 96.8 trillion ($4.17 billion) last year, up 17 per cent from 2017. Pre-tax profit was VND 3.24 trillion ($140 million), 34 per cent above target.
It aims to achieve consolidated revenues of VND 112 trillion ($4.83 billion) this year and plans to add 22 new airplanes (two Airbus A350s and 20 Airbus A321neos) to expand its fleet to 112.