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Habeco’s thirst to re-enter the market

Habeco, Vietnam’s second largest brewer, is likely to list on the stock market in next year’s second quarter.

“After finishing an auction of 6.954 million shares on December 24 and asking for shareholders’ opinions at its shareholder meeting in the first quarter next year, we will carry out listing on the stock market,” said a Habeco spokesman.

Last week, the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) announced Habeco’s auction of 6.954 million shares at an initial price of VND32,000 per share.

The total share volume offering for the auction accounted for 3 per cent of its chartered capital of VND2,318 billion ($122 million).

The auction is part of Habeco’s plan to decrease its state stake from 81.79 to 66 per cent. Of the 15.79 per cent stake to be sold, 3 per cent will be publicly auctioned and the remainder will be sold to existing shareholders with a ratio of 1:0.7, meaning that a shareholder owning one share will have the right to buy 0.7 additional shares.

It is Habeco’s second public offering after the initial public offering (IPO) in March, 2008.

However, Hanoi Securities Joint Stock Company director Dao Viet Truong said that Habeco’s auction did not seem good in the current market’s situation.

“Currently, many companies also plan to issue more shares for their shareholders while many banks have found ways to mobilise capital by pushing up short-term interest rates. Therefore, it appears to be quite difficult for the auction to see good results,” Truong said.

Another director of a securities company said that VND32,000 was not too-high a price. However, the investors’ attention must be based on its financial potential and earnings per share.

“The price Habeco gives in this auction is suitable for its financial data and situation, which was discussed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and Carlsberg, its strategic partner with a 15.77 per cent stake,” said the Habeco spokesman.

Meanwhile, Habeco’s deputy general director Nguyen Tuan Phong said its strategic partner always wanted to raise its stake in Habeco. However, according to the memorandum of understanding between Habeco and Carlsberg in September, 2009, Carlsberg would not be allowed to own Habeco’s stake exceeding 30 per cent.

Currently, Habeco’s market share is 15 per cent, behind Sabeco with 35 per cent. Habeco is the market leader in the northern Vietnam, where Carlsberg is present through its brewery joint ventures in Hanoi and Halong.

The increased partnership will provide opportunities for both Habeco and Carlsberg to further strengthen their market positions in northern Vietnam, but also in central Vietnam, where Carlsberg is a market leader through its brewery joint venture in Hue.

In the first six months of this year, Habeco’s beer production output reached 241 million litres, up 28.1 per cent against the same period last year, and accounted for 41.9 per cent of the year’s plan.

In the remaining six months of 2010, the company is expected to reach VND2.86 trillion ($150 million) in industrial production value, and beer and wine production outputs of 328.3 million litres and 17.3 million litres, respectively.

From VietNamBusiness

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