The PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOIL) has selected four investors who are qualified to become strategic shareholders of the firm. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOIL), an subsidiary of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), has selected four investors who are qualified to become strategic shareholders of the firm, PVOIL General Director Cao Hoai Duong said at a meeting with its shareholders on May 22.

Two foreign investors are SK Group of the Republic of Korea and Idemitsu Company from Japan - one of the investors of the Nghi Son oil refinery project. Other two eligible domestic investors include HDBank and Sovico Holdings.

PVOIL received shareholder registration applications in which investors wanted to buy a number of shares equal to 2.8 times of the shares offered, Duong said, adding that some investors want to purchase 35 percent of the PVOIL stakes while others wished to acquire all of them.

Therefore, the firm will organise a share auction so that the State can earn as much as possible from the divestment. With this action, it is likely that the State can rake in some 9 trillion VND (398 million USD), Duong estimated.

Earlier, on January 25, the Government raised 4.18 trillion VND (184 million USD) through the sale of a 20 percent of shares in PVOIL’s initial public offering.

As requested by the Government, after the offering, the corporation must complete the sale of 44.75 percent or 462 million shares to strategic investors within three months. However, PVOIL needs more time to negotiate with investors due to some strict criteria.

One of the criteria is that strategic investors have to allow PVOIL to purchase products manufactured by Dung Quat and Nghi Son refineries for ten years. In addition, they are not allowed to transfer shares within ten years to ensure their commitment.

The company has asked the Government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group for time extension. It will work to complete selling shares to strategic shareholders in July and organise the first general shareholders meeting in August to ensure benefits of other investors.

If approved, PVOIL will auction its shares to strategic investors on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange to assure publicity and transparency. Once the auction succeeds, the State will no longer hold a controlling stake as its ownership will be reduced to 35 percent.

Earlier, eight investors were enticed to PVOIL shares, including Sovico Holdings, Shell, Idemitsu, Kuwait Petroleum International, Puma, SK, PTT and Sacom Investment Fund.-VNA