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Vietnam to divest 36-percent state stake in brewer Sabeco

Thursday, July 02, 2020, 20:10 GMT+7
Vietnam to divest 36-percent state stake in brewer Sabeco
Sabeco's '333' beer cases are produced at a factory in Vietnam in this file photo. Photo: T.L. / Tuoi Tre

State capital at Vietnam’s top brewer Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) will be soon transferred to the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) to move forward with implementing a prime minister decision on state divestment in 2020.

The government has set the deadline by August 31 for the transfer of 36 percent of state capital in Sabeco from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to SCIC.

SCIC will then be responsible for divesting the stake, which means that private and foreign firms will be allowed to invest in Sabeco.

The divestment of the trade ministry’s 36-percent stake in the beer giant would add about VND37.6 trillion (US$1.6 billion) to the state budget, news site VnExpress reported.

Thailand’s Thai Beverage Public Co. Ltd. (ThaiBev) currently owns 54 percent of Sabeco after it purchased a majority stake worth $4.84 billion in the brewer from the trade ministry in December 2017.

After the deal, the trade ministry holds nearly 36 percent of Vietnam’s largest local brewer by market value.

Other foreign organizations own 9.71 percent of Sabeco, and the remaining is held by small shareholders.

Sabeco currently has 26 subsidiaries and is part of 18 joint ventures.

The company’s total assets were estimated at over VND26.96 trillion ($1.17 billion) and its equity at VND20 trillion ($872.4 million) at the end of 2019, according to VnExpress.

At the end of its general meeting of shareholders in 2020 held on June 30, Sabeco submitted to shareholders for approval a plan to lower revenue targets for the year by 37 percent, or VND23.8 trillion ($1.03 billion), and profit after tax by 39 percent, or VND3.25 trillion ($141.3 million), compared to the figures of 2019.

Besides Sabeco, the list of companies having to transfer state capital to the SCIC before August 31 includes 13 other firms under the management of the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

In addition, 120 other enterprises where the state holds a share will be divested by their equity owners without having the stake transferred to the SCIC.

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