October 18, 2015.
Vinamilk, Vietnam’s largest company, said it’s willing to allow foreign investors to increase their stakes in the company to the maximum level that the government will allow. “We want to open the room by the limit allowed by the government because the investment of overseas investors will not just bring capital but also advanced corporate management experiences,” said Ho Chi Minh City-based Bui Thi Huong, an executive director at the dairy producer. Foreign investment will be one of the keys to growing the country’s stock market. The State Capital Investment Corp., a government investment branch, plans to divest its entire 45.1% stake in Vinamilk, which is worth 60.1 trillion dong ($2.7 billion), to allow for more foreign investment. Vinamilk will gladly accept this government decree, allowing foreign investors to increase their stakes from a cap of 49%, to as much as 100%. “Vinamilk’s always at the top of foreign investors’ interests, and the 49% cap has been a hurdle for overseas investors to access the company for a long time,” says Dang Tran Hai Dang, deputy manager of research at VietinBank Securities JSC in Hanoi. The company says it plans to issue about 200 million new shares.
Louie Nguyen, CFA is the CIO of San Diego-based Soledad Investment Management. Soledad invests qualified clients’ assets in markets around the world, including Vietnam.