A sovereign wealth fund from Singapore has decided to sell its entire stake in Vietnam’s taxi service Vinasun, accepting a considerable loss for the multimillion-dollar exit.
GIC, one of Singapore’s three reserves management entities that manage most of the government’s financial assets, has transferred all of its 5.4 million shares, or an eight percent stake in the Vietnamese taxi operator, after four years of funding, local news website VnExpress reported on Monday.
In August 2014, the wealth fund, formerly known as Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, poured VND200 billion (US$8.8 million), equal to VND45,000 ($1.98) per share at that time, into the taxi brand, which was listed in the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange as VNS.
However, according to VnExpress, those shares were transferred at a discount price of only VND13,900 ($0.6) apiece, settling the divestment at about VND80 billion ($3.52 million), on May 25, 2018.
The reserves management entity accepted a loss of VND120 billion ($5.28 million) to exit the Vietnamese taxicab company in the wake of Vinasun’s continuous downhill results, complete with its falling stock prices.
Since their presence in Vietnam in 2014, ride-hailing services such as Grab and Uber have aggressively eaten into the market share of domestic conventional taxi firms, including Vinasun.
Vinasun has been forced to lower its revenue target for the fourth straight year in 2018 to VND2,160 billion ($95.04 million), down VND1,070 billion ($47.08 million) from a year earlier.
The company’s post-tax profit is also expected to reach a nine-year low of VND95 billion ($4.18 million) in 2018.
By the end of 2017, Vinasun’s workforce was cut to only 7,177, with nearly 10,000 having been laid off from the beginning of that year.
During the first three months of this year, the number of employees dropped further by more than 120 people.
As one of the leading financial investors in Vietnam’s capital market, GIC also has holdings in other big companies such as Masan Group, Vietjet Air, Vinamilk, FPT, and PAN Group.