Vietnam Airlines says IPO timing uncertain

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State-owned Vietnam Airlines has relaunched plans to go public but exactly when is not clear, a spokesman for the carrier said on Tuesday.

The longstanding plan for an initial public offering in Vietnam has been revived after several delays, Le Hoang Dung told AFP.

'This plan was relaunched at the start of the year with government agreement but its implementation is not certain this year,' he said. There are still 'many formalities' to be completed, Mr Dung said without elaborating.

He said the airline could not yet reveal how much of a stake it expects to offer for sale.

Vietnam Airlines is looking to position itself as one of the region's leading carriers. Last year it became the first airline in South-east Asia to join the SkyTeam global airline alliance, which includes Air France and Delta Air Lines of the United States.

In late December the company said it was expecting a pre-tax profit jump of 130 per cent year-on-year to US$17.5 million (S$22.2 million) in 2010, thanks to improved passenger numbers.

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