Oct 03, 2019 / 11:08

Vietnam trade ministry rejects rumors on selling Sabeco shares to Chinese

The Hanoitimes - To date, Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) only has two major shareholders, including Vietnam Beverage with a 53.59% stake and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) being state capital representative at the brewer with 36%.

The rumors that shares of Vietnam’s major brewer Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) have been sold to Chinese investors are groundless, according to Do Thang Hai, vice minister of Industry and Trade. 
 
Overview of the press briefing. Source: VGP.
Overview of the press briefing. Source: VGP.
As of present, Sabeco has two major shareholders, including Vietnam Beverage with a 53.59% stake and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) being state capital representative at the brewer with 36%, while other investors hold the remaining 10.41%, said Hai at a government monthly press briefing on October 2. 

According to Hai, the MoIT has been supportive of enterprises expanding their business operations in Vietnam, including Sabeco. However, the MoIT, with a 36% stake in Sabeco, has the veto right any move the brewer make that it deems not suitable.

Hai said the Vietnamese government currently holds shares in various corporations, so the spreading of false information could directly impact their operations, shareholders, state revenue, as well as the attractiveness of those subject to privatization in the eyes of potential investors.

Hai requested enterprises being victims of false information to report to the authority for timely support and intervention. 

In April, Board Chairman of Sabeco Koh Poh Tiong also rejected a similar rumor, stressing there are no Chinese shareholders in the brewer, and also in Thaibev, Thai’s conglomerate that owns Vietnam Beverage.   

​In December 2017, ThaiBev, controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, through its local unit Vietnam Beverage, purchased 323.42 million shares or nearly 54% stake of Sabeco for US$4.89 billion. 

Sabeco currently holds 40% share of the domestic market, followed by Heineken Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage (Habeco) and Carlsberg. 

The brewer company set target for beer consumption at 1.91 billion liters in 2019, representing an increase of 6% year-on-year, while revenue and after-tax profit are projected to reach VND38.87 trillion (US$1.67 billion) and VND4.71 trillion (US$203.18 million), up 8% and 7% year-on-year, respectively.