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Vietnam. Habeco seeks to trade on HoSE in Q4

The Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Habeco, Code: BHN) will soon seek shareholders’ written opinions on it listing on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) in the fourth quarter.

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The number of shareholders able to send written opinions on changing from the Unlisted Public Company (UPCoM) market to HoSE will be finalized on November 17, according to Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD).

Habeco expects to be listed in either November or December. Military Bank Securities Company (MBS) will be its consultant, according to VSD.

The listing occurs in the middle of negotiations that started on October 31 between Danish brewer Carlsberg and Habeco over additional stakes in the Hanoi-based brewer. Negotiations remained ongoing at the time of writing, according to unofficial reports. Neither side was willing to disclose any further information to VET.

Both Habeco and the Saigon Alcohol Beer and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) have been equitized previously, with the State still holding 81.79 per cent of Habeco, its employees 0.56 per cent, other shareholders 0.88 per cent, and its strategic investor, Carlsberg, 17.08 per cent.

Together with Sabeco, the government is keen to divest from Habeco in 2016-2017. Carlsberg became its strategic shareholder in 2009. On October 28, all 231.8 million Habeco shares were officially traded on UPCoM with a reference price in the first trading session of VND39,000 ($1.74) per share.

Its share price increased drastically in the first five trading days and currently stands at VND109,500 ($4.92), a 181 per cent increase over the reference price. Almost all trading sessions have seen excess demand for the share.

Habeco’s total revenue reached VND9.64 trillion ($432 million) last year and after-tax profit VND951 billion ($42.6 million). Habeco and Sabeco are Vietnam’s two largest beverage producers. Sabeco was the largest beer brewer last year, reporting production of 1.38 billion liters. The No. 2 position was taken from Habeco by Heineken.

Formerly a small brewery founded by a Frenchman named Hommel in 1890, Habeco was acquired by MoIT in 2003. In 1958 the very first bottle of Vietnamese beer was capped, called Truc Bach, marking a major turning point in the country’s brewing industry. Habeco has expanded to 25 wholly-owned subsidiaries in many provinces with famous products including Hanoi draft beer, Hanoi bottled beer, and Hanoi canned beer.

Carlsberg Vietnam comprises two entities: trading and production companies. In 1993 it entered Vietnam via a joint venture called South East Asia Brewery and now owns 100 per cent of the company. In 1994 it acquired 50 per cent of Hue Brewery Limited (HBL), the market leader in central Vietnam. In 2011 HBL became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carlsberg when the company acquired the remaining 50 per cent.

In 2008 Carlsberg created a joint venture with Habeco in the form of the Hanoi Vung Tau Brewery Company. In 2009 it became a strategic investor in Habeco and in 2014 the Hanoi Vung Tau joint venture was converted into a fully-owned subsidiary of Carlsberg Vietnam.

Carlsberg Vietnam produces and markets Huda and Huda Gold in central Vietnam and Halida in northern Vietnam. The Danish brewer also produces and distributes Turborg and Carlsberg throughout the country. Carlsberg Vietnam currently has three breweries, excluding Habeco sites. It holds a 34 per cent market share and its annual beer consumption per capita stands at 40 liters.

9 Nov. 2016

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