Government likely to sell stake in PV Oil next year

By Viet Phong   August 1, 2018 | 07:38 pm PT
Government likely to sell stake in PV Oil next year
Foreign buyers are showing interest in the stakes of PV Oil. Photo by Reuters
The government is expected to reduce its stake in PV Oil, a major trader of crude oil and petroleum products, to 35.1 percent in 2019 from the current 80.52 percent.

CEO Cao Hoai Duong told shareholders at the annual general meeting on July 30 that the firm is now seeking guidance on the foreign ownership cap.

“After a maximum of 45 days from this meeting, we will send our proposal to state authorities. We will convince authorities to set the ceiling at 49 per cent,” he said.

Last December PV Oil announced plans to sell a 44.72 per cent stake to foreign strategic shareholders.

This aroused much interest among potential investors, including South Korea’s SK Energy, Japan’s Idemitsu, private lender HDBank, and multi-sector private group Sovico Holdings.

They made bids to buy 2.78 times the number of shares PV Oil was offering.

However, PV Oil’s proposal for a four-month extension of the strategic sales process to July 31 was rejected by the government.

Foreign investors now own 6.62 percent of the company.

The company held an IPO last year, and Duong said the earliest it is likely to list on the Ho Chi Minh stock exchange is 2019.

Its shares are traded now on the Unlisted Public Company Market or UPCoM.

At the AGM, shareholders approved a new board of directors for 2018-2023 made up of seven members - five from state-run PetroVietnam, one independent member and one representing other shareholders, Tran Hoai Nam, who is also deputy CEO of private carrier Vietjet Air. 

Duong said expanding to achieve 35 per cent market share in petroleum retail sales through mergers and acquisitions remains PV Oil’s long-term strategy.

It now has 611 gas stations and a 22 per cent market share.

Its major competitor, Petrolimex, has around 2,500 gas stations and about a 50 per cent share.

Duong said quick divestment by the government would help the firm achieve its expansion ambitions more easily.

PV Oil’s IPO fetched the government VND4 trillion ($172 million).

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