Moving ahead with its privatisation exercise, the Vietnamese government has approved the sale of 35 per cent stake in Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) at a starting price of VND10,000 ($0.4) apiece in its initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to be conducted in September.
Vinalines’ charter capital is estimated at approximately VND14 trillion ($616.7 million). As per the plan, over 280 million shares, equivalent to 20 per cent stake, in Vinalines will be offered for sale in Hanoi Stock Exchange. And, 207 million shares, or 14.8 per cent stake, will be sold to strategic investors. The remaining shares will be sold to employees of the company, according to the plan approved by the government.
Following the sale, the government will retain a 65 per cent stake in the firm. At the price of VND10,000 ($0.4) apiece, the state is expected to earn approximately VND4 trillion ($176.2 million) from the sale.
In a parallel development, SK Group, South Korea’s third-largest multilateral business conglomerate, has expressed interest in the upcoming equitisation of Vinalines and hopes to come in as a strategic investor in the company.
Earlier, Vinalines’ acting CEO Nguyen Canh Tinh had said the shipping carrier had not received any interest from investors although it had actively negotiated with Rent A Port, Deep C, and others for a possible alliance. “Most strategic investors want to own higher rates (49-51 per cent) to gain dominance,” he had told local media.
Vinalines’ 2017 revenue was estimated at VND16 trillion ($702.4 million), exceeding the annual target by 15 per cent. While its profit was VND515 billion ($22.6 million) and total assets stood at over VND18 trillion ($790 million). It is targeting a consolidated profit of $75.8 million on a revenue of $757.7 million by 2020.