State capital divestment from brewers urged to be sped up hinh anh 1Saigon Beer, a product of Sabeco (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) —
State capital at the two brewers, Saigon Alcohol-Beer-Beverage JSC (Sabeco) and Hanoi Alcohol-Beer-Beverage JSC (Habeco), may soon be transferred to the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC).

This has been proposed by the Ministry of Finance’s Agency of Corporate Finance. The two brewers are currently under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The proposal was made at a press conference on equitisation and divestment of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) held by the finance ministry on September 27.

This is one of the solutions given by the agency in order to speed up equitisation and divestment of SOEs in the last three months, to ensure the revenue target of 60 trillion VND (2.64 billion USD) is met by the end of this year.

The agency has asked MoIT to accelerate the divestment from Sabeco and Habeco and finish the transfer of State capital to the Support Fund for Enterprise Reorganisation and Development before December 1, 2017.

In case MoIT cannot announce the prospectus for divestments in the two companies by the end of this month, the ministry should seek the Prime Minister’s instruction on handing over the State capital ownership to SCIC.

The divestment of Sabeco and Habeco, the two biggest local brewers in Vietnam, has attracted significant attention in the market. MoIT holds 89.59 percent of Sabeco’s charter capital and is expected to sell 53.59 percent.

In Habeco, the ministry plans to offload its entire holding of 81.79 percent.

Sabeco is the leading beer producer in terms of market share, holding 40 percent of local beer consumption. Heineken came second, with a 25 percent market share, followed by Habeco, with 18 percent.

Carlsberg is a strategic shareholder in Habeco, with a holding of 17.51 percent. The Danish beer maker has shown interest to purchase 51 percent of Habeco’s stakes. After nine negotiations, the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the selling price but Carlsberg still retains priority over the right to negotiate with Habeco when the State makes the divestment.

Meanwhile, many foreign investors are keen on Sabeco’s stakes, including Japan’s Asahi Group, Thailand’s Singha, Kirin, Heineken and Anheuser-Busch InBev.-VNA