Vinamilk is chosen as the first ever Vietnamese representative for Forbes's 50 best firms in the Asia Pacific 2016. (Photo cafef.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam Dairy Products or Vinamilk "breaks the ice" to grab a spot in the top 50 best listed firms in the Asia Pacific region, Forbes Magazine has said.

The magazine said this was the first ever mention of Vietnam on the list, being compiled since 2005, and called it "the big news", adding that there were a total of 21 new entrants to this year's list, and the Vietnamese dairy behemoth totally deserves it.

"Since going public in 2003, Vietnam Dairy Products [has become] the country's largest dairy company and the fifth largest public company listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange," Forbes said.

"It is also the country's first stock market heavyweight to lift its foreign ownership limit past 49 percent, which helped push its share price up 20 percent from July 1 through August 19."

Currently, foreign investors hold 49 percent of its shares, while 45 percent of the stock is owned by the State and 6 percent is owned by domestic individuals and organizations in Vinamilk.

As the country's largest dairy firm, Vinamilk stock (VNM) was always in the top three in the domestic stock market. Vinamilk reaches 43 countries with 250-270 million USD in total export revenue per year.

Since 2005, Forbes has been selecting 50 firms each year in the Asia Pacific region for the Fabulous 50 list to identify the corporate stars of the region.

The list included the most firms from China at 22, eight from India and five from the Republic of Korea, along with others in the region.

According to Forbes, they tracked a pool of 1,524 public companies that have at least 1.7 billion USD in annual revenue. Firms with more than 50 percent state-ownership were crossed out as the goal was to highlight entrepreneurial outfits, not ones living off government connections," Forbes explained.-VNA