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Sabeco & Habeco to sell State stakes in 2016-2017

Released at: 09:56, 05/09/2016

Sabeco & Habeco to sell State stakes in 2016-2017

Photo: Duc Anh

Sales to be conducted after giant SOEs list on stock exchange.

by Quynh Nguyen

The sales of State stakes in beer giants Sabeco and Habeco are expected to be carried out this year or next year after they list on the stock exchange. 

Both the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverages Corporation (Sabeco) and the Hanoi Beer, Alcohol and Beverages Corporation (Habeco) have been equitized but the sale of State stakes is being carried out under a different roadmap, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.

The State still owns 81.79 per cent of Habeco, while its employees own 0.56 per cent, other shareholders 0.88 per cent, and its strategic investor, Carlsberg, 16 per cent. “It is expected that Habeco will divest all its State capital, worth VND9 trillion ($405 million), this year,” Deputy Minister Hai said.

The sale of State capital at Sabeco, meanwhile, will be carried out in two phases. The first will divest 53.59 per cent of State stakes, worth VND24 trillion ($108 billion), this year, and the second will sell 36 per cent, worth VND16 trillion ($720 million), next year.

Deputy Minister Hai also stressed that the sale of State stakes will be conducted under the Law on Enterprises, the Law on Securities, and the Law on Competition and Antitrust. “The selection of valuation consultants will be made at the direction of the Prime Minister,” he added.

The State sales must be carried out publicly and transparently under market mechanisms and international practice in order to avoid interest groups causing damage to the State and shareholders.

Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc previously emphasized that State divestment from a number of SOEs must be completed by them listing, to protect State assets. The State sale at Sabeco and Habeco in particular must carried out in this manner and the pace of the equitization of the two big SOEs needs to be accelerated.

“Land use rights at these SOEs must be taken into account during the valuation process and there will be no discrimination between foreign and local partners,” he added.

He also asked that the enterprises selling State capital retain their national brands, such as Sabeco, Habeco and Vinamilk.

Habeco targets industrial production value of VND10.79 trillion ($484 million) this year, up 8.3 per cent against 2015, beer sales of 715 million liters, up 2.4 per cent, wine sales of 10.2 million liters, up 38 per cent, and sales of UniAqua bottled water of 2 million liters, an increase of 34 per cent.

Sabeco, meanwhile, targets to sell over 1.5 billion liters of products this year and contribute VND9.2 trillion ($418 million) to the State budget. It was Vietnam’s largest brewer last year, reporting production of 1.38 billion liters. The No. 2 position was taken from Habeco by Heineken.

Sabeco made headlines in July in regard to the promotion of Mr. Vu Quang Hai, the son of former Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang.

In June the Vietnam Association of Foreign Investors (VAFI) called for the dismissal of Mr. Hai due to his inexperience and the “illegality” of his appointment. On July 12 Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh directed the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to review and address the VAFI proposal.

VAFI believes there are problems in Habeco and Sabeco being equitized nearly eight years ago but not yet moving under the management of the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), as requested several times.

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