Foreign investors divest en masse from Vietnam’s largest car dealership

By Dat Nguyen   May 27, 2020 | 05:45 pm PT
Foreign investors divest en masse from Vietnam’s largest car dealership
A Savico car dealer in Long Bien District, Hanoi. Photo courtesy of Savico.
Foreign investors have sold almost 44 percent of their stake in Savico, Vietnam’s largest car dealership, so far this year.

At the end of last year, foreign ownership in the Saigon General Service Corporation (Savico) was 47.79 percent, but this has dropped drastically to just over over 4 percent now.

Finland-based PYN Elite Fund reduced its stake from 8.23 percent stake to 0.22 percent in March.

Petri Deryng, the company’s portfolio manager, said in a statement that "an ownership tussle" in the company opened a window of opportunity for a sell out. The deal was worth EUR 3.6 million ($3.9 million), which was a slight loss, he said.

In April, Swiss firm Probus Opportunities reduced its stake from 7.3 percent to 0.5 percent.

Thailand-based Finansia Syrus Securities Public Company Limited has reduced its ownership over several months from 11.28 percent to 1.2 percent.

British firm Endurance Capital Vietnam I Ltd has sold its entire 4.57 percent stake.

The stakes have been bought by Vietnamese investors. Now Savico has one big investor, tourism and real estate company Benthanh Group, with 40.81 percent.

Savico, which accounted for 10 percent of car sales in Vietnam last year, has been seeing dampening business figures.

The company’s post-tax profit last year fell 22 percent to VND233 billion ($10 million), despite revenue rising to a record-high VND18.3 trillion ($784 million).

In the first quarter, its post-tax profit fell 89 percent to VND8.8 trillion ($377 million). The company said that coronavirus impacts have hit demand on top of market saturation.

Rising costs of marketing and discounts have contributed to the dwindling profits, it said.

The company, which has 52 dealers nationwide and 5,000 employees, has set lower business targets from last year, with after-tax profits set to fall by half to VND108 billion ($4.6 million).

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