Vietnam brewer Sabeco lifts foreign ownership cap

By Dat Nguyen   November 12, 2018 | 01:07 am PT
Vietnam brewer Sabeco lifts foreign ownership cap
Bottles of Sabeco's Saigon beer are seen at a restaurant bar in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Vietnam's largest brewer Sabeco says it has removed its foreign ownership limit, in a statement on its website Monday.

The company, known for its Bia Saigon and 333 brand, said that its board of directors had issued a resolution on Oct. 30 that approves "unrestricted foreign ownership percentage in Sabeco."

Last December, Thai Beverage acquired a 53.59 percent stake in Sabeco from Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade for $4.84 billion through a local entity, Viet Beverage (VietBev).

Under the government's Decree 60 dated June 26, 2015, listed companies, except those working in conditional business fields like banking, are allowed to determine their foreign ownership cap. They just need to register the limit with the State Securities Commission. 

The Ministry of Finance last week presented a draft securities law that would remove the current 49 percent foreign ownership cap in many sectors, except some conditional sectors.

However, the draft has not been finalized and submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

In Vietnam, conditional sectors refer to industries subject to additional regulations that would override limits set out by the securities law.

Sabeco, formally known as Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp, recorded revenues of VND25.5 trillion ($1.1 billion) in the first nine months of this year, meeting 70 percent of its annual target.

It occupies approximately 42.8 percent of the domestic beer market, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation. Last year, it produced nearly 1.8 trillion litres of beer.

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