Vietnam's top food firm Vissan raises $41 mln in heavily oversubscribed IPO

March 9, 2016 | 11:55 pm PT
Leading food processor Vissan sold out on its market debut with both domestic and foreign investors keen to get a piece of the action.

State-run Vissan Co, Vietnam's leading foodstuff processor raised VND906.84 billion ($41 million) in an initial public offering on Monday for 14 percent of its shares, beating its own projection.

Vissan sold all 11.33 million shares on offer at an average price of VND80,053 per share, compared with a starting price of VND17,000 set by the firm, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange said in a statement.


Vietnamese customers buy Vissan products at a retail store. (Photo: VNExpress)

It was not immediately clear when Vissan's shares would debut in Vietnam, where IPOs and listing are separate processes. The government requires state-run firms to list shares within 90 days of an IPOs, although the rule is not widely enforced.

Vissan supplies pork, beef, chicken and processed food via its nationwide network. In its base in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's business center, Vissan accounts for around a fifth of daily pork consumption.

"Vissan is only suitable for investors with long investment horizon, who want to gain exposure in the fresh meat and meat-related product sector," SSI Securities said in a report prior to the IPO. It defines a "long investment horizon" as a period of over three years.

The IPO has attracted a total of 142 domestic and foreign investors, who collectively sought to buy 63.59 million shares, far above the volume on offer, the exchange's data show.

Foreign investors bought 3.3 million shares in Vissan, or 4 percent of the company.

The IPO is the latest offer by the government to free-up its bloated state sector, although its reform program has repeatedly missed targets and has been criticized for offering only small stakes in attractive firms.

Vietnam is one of Asia's most promising consumer markets, benefiting due to favorable demographics and growing household incomes, Fitch Group's BMI Research said in a report in January.

The country's compound annual growth rate for food consumption is projected at 18.6 percent in the 2014-2019 period, with a 18-percent expansion in 2015 alone, the BMI report said ($1=22,294 dong) – Reuters

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