State investment agency to auction stake in cooking oil giant

By Minh Anh   July 28, 2019 | 11:59 pm PT
State investment agency to auction stake in cooking oil giant
Vocarimex is one of Vietnam's leading cooking oil producers. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) will auction its entire 36.3 percent stake in the Vietnam Vegetable Oils Industry Corporation.

All 44.21 million shares in the leading producer of cooking oil, better known as Vocarimex, will be publicly auctioned on August 15 and ultimately sold to a single highest bidder, the SCIC announced.

Vocarimex’s shares (stock code: VOC) will have a starting price of VND22,300 (0.96 cents), which means SCIC could expect to receive a minimum of VND986 billion ($42.48 million). This starting price is 34 percent higher than the Monday’s opening price of VND16,600 ($0.72) for VOC shares traded on UPCoM, Vietnam’s exchange for unlisted public companies.

According analysts, SCIC names the high starting price for VOC shares because Vocarimex currently possesses major stakes in several leading cooking oil producers in Vietnam, as well as large plots of land in prime locations across the country.

For instance, Vocarimex has a 26.54 percent stake in the Tuong An Vegetable Oil (TAC), and a 40 percent stake in Golden Hope Nha Be (GHNB). As of the end of 2018, the two companies ranked second and third in terms of market share in Vietnam’s cooking oil industry, accounting for 20 and 11 percent respectively, according to market research firm Viet Analytics.

Vocarimex was established in 1976 and equitized in 2014, with an initial charter capital of VND1.22 trillion ($52.55 million). The company listed shares on UPCoM in 2016.

Vietnam’s leading food company Kido Corporation and SCIC are Vocarimex’s biggest shareholders, having 51 percent (nearly 62.12 million shares) and 36.3 percent (44.21 million shares) stakes respectively.

According to Vocarimex’s bi-annual business report, revenues fell to VND1.32 trillion ($56.86 million) in the first six months of the year, down 39 percent year-on-year, while profit after taxes fell to VND99 billion ($4.26 million), down 28 percent.

The auction of Vocarimex shares is one of 108 divestments planned by SCIC this year.

SCIC is a government agency set up to restructure state-owned enterprises to make them more efficient and to enable the state to consolidate capital in sectors it considers key.

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