Saigon Port plans share sale to banks hinh anh 1Saigon Port (Source: VNA)

Saigon Port Company Limited will sell some 35.7 million shares to VietinBank and VPBank, which it plans to select as its strategic investors, during an auction on August 28.

The volume of shares is equivalent to 16.5 percent of the firm's charter capital of 2.16 trillion VND (9.6 billion USD). The bid will be held at Maritime Securities in HCM City, and the initial price will be 11,514 VND (0.5 USD) per share.

Saigon Port made the announcement in an online notice following approval by its parent company, Vietnam National Shipping Lines, or Vinalines. The offer of the 16.5 percent stake means that the banks will have to compete to acquire a desired stake, as each of them had registered earlier this year to purchase 11 percent of the port company.

The State Bank of Vietnam has given VietinBank a nod to swap a debt that Saigon Port owes it, reportedly about 2.3 trillion VND (102.22 million USD), for a stake in the port company if share transactions are successful.

The latest announcement also means that property giant Vingroup will not take part in the auction, although this firm has already signed up to acquire up to 80 percent of Saigon Port's equity.

Vingroup has confirmed with news website VnExpress that it will not participate in the bid without further explanations.

The State currently owns some 64 percent of the Saigon Port's equity, after the company sold 35.7 million shares during an initial public offering (IPO) on June 30. The firm took in 411 billion VND (18.27 million USD) from the IPO, according to the HCM Stock Exchange.

This year, the company plans to report a turnover of 935 billion VND (41.56 million USD) and a net profit of 31 billion VND (1.38 million USD). Last year, it posted revenues of 1.07 trillion VND (47.56 million USD) and a pre-tax profit of 79 billion VND (3.51 million USD).

The company manages four ports in HCM City, with 20 docks and 463,448 square metres of warehouses and shipyards. It transports 10 million tonnes of goods each year.-VNA