Vietnam okays unrestricted foreign ownership of largest brewer

By Dat Nguyen   December 5, 2018 | 05:32 pm PT
Vietnam okays unrestricted foreign ownership of largest brewer
Sabeco's Saigon beers are displayed for sale in a market in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Vietnam’s securities authorities have lifted any foreign ownership cap on the country’s largest brewer Sabeco.

The State Securities Commission has allowed 100 percent foreign ownership of Sabeco, up from the previous 49 percent.

The confirmation came after the brewer, known for its Bia Saigon and 333 beer brands, announced last month that its board of directors had approved unrestricted foreign ownership percentage in the company.

Vietnam allows listed companies, except those working in certain business fields like banking, to determine their foreign ownership cap. They just need to register the limit with the State Securities Commission. 

Sabeco has been seeking to remove from its portfolio businesses that have limited foreign ownership. Its shareholders in July voted in favor of removing its commercial advertising business, and its domestic and international travel business. They also allowed unspecified adjustments to a few other businesses.

The Ministry of Finance last month presented a draft securities law that would remove the current 49 percent foreign ownership cap from many sectors. The draft has not been finalized or submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

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

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).

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.

go to top