Vietnam government to sell stake in cement giant: report

Thanh Nien News

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The Ministry of Construction is set to divest its stakes in Vicem, a cement producer that currently controls 34 percent of the local market, through an initial public offering in the fourth quarter, news website Dau Tu reported Monday.
Details about the plan are sketchy, but the company announced on its website at the end of last year that the share sale would pare the state holding to a minimum of 51 percent.
Formally known as the Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation, Vicem has stakes in 31 companies, mostly cement producers and distributors. Its gross profit reportedly doubled last year to VND2.38 trillion (US$105.2 million).
Some investors from Indonesia and Thailand have expressed interest in acquiring stakes in Vicem, Dau Tu said, citing financial information provider Stoxplus, an associate company of Japan's Nikkei Inc. and Quick Corp.
However, given the current oversupply in the Vietnamese cement market, foreign investors will be cautious about buying into the company, which has an annual output of 20 million tons, according to Stoxplus.
Vietnam is forecast to see a surplus of 25 million tons this year, with sales expected to rise 4 percent year-on-year to 56.5 million tons.

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