International investors show interest in Vinalines shares
Updated at Monday, 02 Jul 2018, 23:08
The Hanoitimes - A number of foreign companies are showing interest in becoming major shareholders of debt-laden Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines).
South Korean-based groups Hyundai Motor and SK, Thailand's Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Belgium's Ackermans & van Haaren are exploring options to purchase stakes in Vinalines, said Nguyen Canh Tinh, acting CEO of Vinalines.
Consequently, Hyundai Motor has submitted an official request to join Vinalines' upcoming equitization process, while SCG is looking to cooperate with Vietnam's largest shipping firm to operate seaports, Tinh added.
Additionally, Oman's State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) has been in discussion with the local government to become a strategic investor of Hai Phong Port, which is currently owned by Vinalines.
Last August, Vinalines and Rent-A-Port N.V., an investment and management arm of the Belgian Ackermans & van Haaren signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the possibility of cooperating in a grain specialized port, processing zone and logistics system projects in Lach Huyen port and Dinh Vu industrial zone.
Furthermore, Rent-A-Port N.V will have the option of purchasing 10% of Vinalines' charter capital when the company becomes privatized.
Vinalines is scheduled to offer a 20% stake of itself in an initial public offering (IPO) at the Hanoi Stock Exchange in September at a starting price of VND10,000 (US$0.44), according to the equitization scheme recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The government will retain 913 million shares, equivalent to a 65% stake, out of 1.4 billion shares. Post-IPO, Vinalines will have charter capital of VND14.046 trillion (US$631.8 million).
Another 2.29 million shares or 0.16% of charter capital will be sold to employees, while 207.2 million shares to strategic investors, or a 14.8% stake, will be offered to strategic investors.
The firm's IPO has been delayed several times as it needed to undergo a longer-than-expected restructuring process.
Vinalines currently manages and operates a diverse fleet including container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers, and other types of cargo vessels. The Vinalines fleet has large bulk carriers up to 73,000 DWT, 1,800 TEU container ships, and 50,000 DWT oil tankers.
Of the total of 130.9 million tons of cargo shipped last year by Vietnamese vessels, Vinalines' fleet took 20.2%.
By the end of 2017, Vinalines had completed divestment in 39 companies for VND2.4 trillion (US$105 million) in return, resulting in a net profit of VND360 billion (US$15.8 million).
Overall, the firm saw its debt reduced by VND10.6 trillion (US$440 million) in period 2014 - 2017, according to Le Quang Trung, vice general director of Vinalines.
Additionally, its member companies also cut debts by VND2.3 trillion (US$101 million). As of December 31, 2017, Vinalines' debts owed to banks totaled up to VND14.7 trillion (US$646 million), including principals of VND11.3 trillion (US$497 million) and unpaid interests of VND3.3 trillion (US$145 million).