Vingroup, Vietinbank & VPBank in race for strategic stake in Saigon Port

The first 52,020 DWT vessel at the Saigon Port. Visual from the Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department's website

Vietnam-based property giant Vingroup, and commercial banks  – Vietinbank and VPBank – have all put in bids to buy a strategic stake in the country’s busiest container Saigon Port, as the state-owned company prepares for its initial public offer (IPO) this month.

The names of the bidders were unveiled by Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, the auctioning house for the IPO.

Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange said that Vingroup wanted to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Saigon Port, even as it has been revealed that the state would retain a 64 per cent in this infrastructure asset post the listing. This implies, the strategic bidder can buy a maximum of 16.5 per cent stake in Saigon Port. It had been earlier reported that as much as 25 per cent of Saigon Port would be offered to potential buyers.

Meanwhile, each of the two lenders filed to purchase 11 per cent. Thus, the buying offers have surpassed Saigon Port’s charter capital by two per cent. Its capital after IPO is expected to reach VND2.16 trillion ($100 million).

The selected strategic partner will be announced post the public auction.

DEALSTREETASIA had reported earlier this week that Saigon Port had got the go ahead for its IPO that is slated to take place on June 30, and the report further added that the company was expected to raise a trillion in Vietnamese dong ($46.5 million).

Also read: Vietnam’s Saigon Port gets go ahead for IPO, set to raise $46.5m

As planned, outside investors will collectively own 33 per cent in the southern port, while a small part equivalent to about three per cent shares will be issued to the company’s staff.

The starting price of the auction will be VND11,500 per unit.

Saigon Port currently operates and has interests of as much as 36 per cent in local major ports, including the Nha Rong Khanh Hoi, Tan Thuan, Cai Mep – Thi Vai and the VND2.8 trillion Saigon – Hiep Phuoc, which is under construction.

According to Dinh Thi Thu Thao, analyst for VietCapital Securities Company, the convenient locations and large size of these ports were advantages the Saigon Port offered to potential private investors.

This portal, in an earlier report had also said that Saigon Port aims to learn from the mistakes of its peers, which are also subsidiaries of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines and whose IPOs failed to attract major investors.

The Vietnamese government has been flexible in allowing bidders to pick up as much as 49 per cent stakes in state-owned companies, as against its earlier policy of restricting it to 25 per cent, but its latest move to retain a  64 per cent equity in one of the country’s most anticipated IPOs is set to be a discouragement to investors.

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

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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.