Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 13:04:39

Local startups see values soar

VNA Print

Illustrative image (Source: khoinghieptre.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Stock prices of many local start-up companies are valued extremely high, far above prices of large-cap shares on the two national stock exchanges, which demonstrates investor confidence in the high-growth potential of the Vietnamese startups.

To date, the highest price for a start-up stock is over 3.8 million VND (172.2 USD) of Vexere Corporation, a local startup which operates the online bus ticket booking portal Vexere.com.

According to the financial information website cafef.vn, a local investment fund manager entrusted by a foreign fund paid over 8.5 billion VND to buy 2,222 shares of Vexere Corporation in 2015.

The price was even twice that of the amount the fund management company had spent to buy shares of the bus ticket platform in 2014. Two years earlier, this fund spent 2.1 billion VND to buy 1,112 shares of Vexere.com, equivalent to 1.9 million VND per share.

The share price of E.D.H Trading Development and Investment Corporation, which owns 99.9 percent of charter capital of the online education provider Topica Edtech Group, was also valued at 1.9 million VND each in 2014.

Such prices are even higher than those of the highest valued stocks on the two national stock exchanges. Among nearly 700 codes on the HCM City and Hanoi stock exchanges, there are only fifteen stocks being traded at over 100,000 VND a share. They are all leading companies in their industry sectors like dairy giant Vinamilk, Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC, Binh Minh Plastic JSC, VinaCafe Bien Hoa JSC and Thien Long Group Corporation.

According to market insiders, Vietnam's startups have high valuation due to their "micro" charter capital levels, usually between several billion dong to a few dozen billion of dong.

E.D.H Trading Development and Investment Corp has a charter capital of just 2.5 billion VND while that of Vexere is only 133 billion VND.

Besides, foreign funds have bet on local high-growth startups which are expected to expand rapidly thanks to the country's stable economic development and fast increase of the middle-income class.

In 2015, Japan's CyberAgent divested a part of its investments in Foody with a price of around 300,000 VND a share, but it bought a batch of shares of the price comparison platform Websosanh at 284,000 VND a share.

Early this year, Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) spent 25 million USD to buy a 20-percent stake in M_Service, the tech firm behind the electronic wallet MoMo, which was valued at 125 million USD.

Vietnam-based Internet company VNG Corporation, known as Vietnam's first unicorn, invested nearly 383 billion VND in e-commerce platform Tiki for a 38-percent stake.

The deal, which closed in January this year, valued Tiki at over 1 trillion VND, a four-fold increase over 2013.-VNA
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