Purchasing 25.76 million and 22.56 million shares, respectively, at an average of VND22,300 per share, Techcombank and Vietcombank picked up 98 per cent of the carrier's IPO.
On November 14 the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) sold 49 million Vietnam Airline shares in its IPO for VND1,093 billion ($51.3 million), or 3.475 per cent of the carrier’s charter capital. Techcombank and Vietcombank acquired 1.82 and 1.6 per cent, respectively, becoming the second and third banks in Vietnam to invest in the airline industry, following HD Bank’s purchase of 10 per cent of Vietjet Air.
Profits over revenue in the airline industry are relatively low but the substantial earnings from selling tickets and providing cargo services and the significant spending on operating costs and salaries make the industry an attractive market for banks. The more share acquired by a bank, the more influence they will have on making themselves the financial service provider of Vietnam Airlines.
The sale of 3.475 percent of the carrier’s charter capital was not enough for strategic investors to place bids, but the IPO itself is still a major milestone, marking the first successful step in the carrier’s equitization plans. The Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Transport to cut the State interest in Vietnam Airlines to 65 per cent over an appropriate period and the process of selecting a strategic investor was carried out at the same time. “The management board of Vietnam Airlines commits to the continued and expeditious conduct of the equitization until the company is fully converted into a joint stock company, so that the annual general meeting can be held on schedule, on March 15, 2015,” Mr. Pham Viet Thanh, Chairman of Vietnam Airlines, was quoted as saying.
In the IPO, Vietnam Airlines also expressed its goal of confirming its leading position as the national flag carrier with a key role in Vietnam’s aviation sector, besides striving to become one of the top airlines in Southeast Asia in terms of scale and service quality, becoming a reputable Vietnamese brand in the international market. “Our mission is to join hands and turn Vietnam Airlines into be a giant regional airline with highly-efficient management and operations and good service quality, to respond actively to the needs of customers and contribute practically to society,” Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said in expressing his support for the carrier’s IPO.