Beer giant's shares soar 20 pct to touch market debut ceiling

By VnExpress   December 6, 2016 | 01:24 am PT
Beer giant's shares soar 20 pct to touch market debut ceiling
A man pours Sabeco's Saigon beer into a cup at a restaurant in Hanoi Vietnam December 5, 2016, Photo by Reuters/ Kham
Foreign investors are eager to get a taste of Vietnam's biggest brewer Sabeco.

Vietnam’s biggest brewer Sabeco made its market debut on Tuesday and immediately jumped by 20 percent to hit its ceiling as investors showed a thirst for one of Asia's most sought-after beer markets.

Shares hit VND132,000 ($5.8) from an opening price of VND110,000 with a volume of 3,000 shares initially traded, according to data from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange.

“Sabeco has already made it into the top five listed companies in terms of market capitalization,” said vice chairwoman of the State Securities Commission, Nguyen Thi Lien Hoa.

The bourse allows stock prices to move a maximum of 20 percent either side of their starting price on the first day of trading.

Sabeco is currently the dominant brewer in Vietnam, holding 45 percent of the local beer market.

The company's listing has been on and off for several years as it is among the few state-owned enterprises to have performed well.

Foreign investors have long laid their eyes on the brewer due to the strong growth rate of Vietnam’s beer market. The Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association forecasts the country will raise annual beer output by 25 percent by 2020.

Sabeco’s net revenue from January to September rose 8.88 percent on-year to VND21.8 trillion, and its pre-tax profit climbed 21 percent to VND4.5 trillion, said the brewer in its financial statement.

The company also surpassed its pre-tax profit target for the year by 13 percent to about VND5 trillion in November.

As Sabeco remains 89.59 percent state-owned, the Trade Ministry, which manages the public stake in the brewer, plans to divest further from the brewer, selling a 53.59 percent stake this year and another 36 percent stake next year.

Dutch beverage giant Heineken is among the potential investors and is reported to already own 5 percent in Sabeco and is keen for more.

Although the Vietnamese government on July 20 scrapped a long standing foreign-ownership cap in many listed companies, Sabeco is not among those in which foreign investors may acquire more than a 49 percent stake.

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