Vietnam Airlines to restart equitization, CEO says

TN News

Email Print

Vietnam Airlines Corp. will restart plans to sell shares to investors as the stock market has recovered from the global financial crisis that stymied an initial public offering planned for 2008.

The state-owned carrier aims to complete an IPO by the end of 2012, Chief Executive Pham Ngoc Minh said in a telephone interview Monday, without giving terms of the sale.

The planned public sale of the airline's shares may add to investor interest in the equitization of state-owned companies. Vietnam may allow private business owners to become Communist Party members as the nation targets annual economic growth of 7 percent to 8 percent until the year 2020, Party Chief Nong Duc Manh said last week in Hanoi. The nation also wants to almost triple per capita income to $3,000 by 2020, Manh said.

The Vietnam Airlines share-sale plan "will be taken positively," said Mark Canizares, head of equities at Manulife Asset Management (Vietnam), which has about $280 million of assets. "It's indicating that privatization is restarting again."

The national carrier aims to boost revenue to VND45.5 trillion ($2.33 billion) and passenger numbers to 14 million in 2011, as economic growth spurs demand for air travel, it said in an e- mail last month.

"It's quite safe to assume that that demand for airline travel is expected to grow in line with domestic income growing," Canizares said. "Domestic travel alone would make any listing in this sector quite attractive."

The benchmark VN Index has more than doubled to 495.16 from a four-year low of 235.50 on Feb. 24, 2009.

More Business News