The government plans to further divest a 24.86 per cent stake in Petrolimex, reducing its holding in Vietnam’s top fuel importer and distributor to 51 per cent. Vietnam is privatizing its state-owned enterprises in a bid to boost their performance and reduce fiscal pressure.
In a recent post on its website commemorating its 62 years of establishment, Petrolimex noted that one of its two core tasks for 2018 was to “continue restructuring in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Decision No 828, including the reduction of State ownership to 51% per Decision No 1232”.
Petrolimex, which raised $20.03 million in its IPO in 2011 and was listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in April last year, holds about half of Vietnam’s retail fuel distribution market share. As of April 2017, Vietnam’s trade ministry owned about 75.87 per cent of the fuel distributor while JX Nippon Oil & Energy owned 8 per cent. There is a 20 per cent foreign ownership limit for Petrolimex.
Meanwhile, the government is also considering selling a less than 5 per cent stake in Habeco, one of Vietnam’s largest brewers, in the first quarter to Danish firm Carlsberg A/S.
In an interview with Bloomberg last month, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said Carlsberg will have to pay the market price if it wants to increase its stake in Habeco. The European beer maker wants to increase its stake in the Vietnamese brewer to 61.79 per cent from 17.51 per cent, its former Vietnam CEO Tayfun Uner had said in late 2016.
“The ministry would prioritize solving existing problems in the contract between Habeco and Danish brewer Carlsberg to accelerate equitization in the enterprise,” a representative from the trade ministry told local media.
Vietnam’s trade ministry owns 81.79 per cent of Vietnam’s second largest brewer, which is now traded on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.
Besides the two enterprises, the government also plans to reduce its ownership in Vietnam Construction Corporation (expected to divest 46.75 per cent of capital), Machines and Industrial Equipment Corporation (63.54 per cent), Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (53.48 per cent) and Vietnam Steel Corporation (57.92 per cent).
In the first month of this year, the Vietnamese government successfully raised a total of $737 million by selling stakes in three subsidiaries of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) — PV Power ($308 million), PV Oil ($184 million) and Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical ($245 million). The proceeds from all three IPOs exceeded the government’s target.
Vietnam raised over VND144.5 trillion ($6.35 billion) by divesting its stake in state-owned enterprises, including via initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2017.