Vietnam gov’t to make full divestment from top brewers

By Chi Hieu, Thanh Nien News

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Bottle beers move along a production line at a factory of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. Photo credit:  Kham/Reuters Bottle beers move along a production line at a factory of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. Photo credit: Kham/Reuters

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The Vietnamese government on Wednesday said it will fully divest from Sabeco and Habeco, the country’s two largest brewers, in the next 18 months.
The government will sell its entire 82 percent stake in Habeco, officially known as Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. for around VND9 trillion (US$405 million) this year, Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, told a regular government meeting on Wednesday.
It will also sell a 53.3 percent stake in Sabeco, or Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp., for VND24 trillion ($1.08 billion) this year and its remaining 36.5 holding in the firm for VND16 billion ($720 million) next year, he said.
Hai said both local and foreign investors can buy into the two brewers.
Sabeco, brewer of Saigon Beer and 333 Beer, is the country’s largest brewer by sales with 40 percent of the market last year, followed by Heineken and Habeco with 20 percent shares each, according to the Vietnam Beer Association.
Sabeco has been eyed by many international giants such as Japan's Asahi and Kirin, London-based SAB Miller, and Thai Beverage Pcl.
Vietnam’s beer production grew 10 percent to 3.4 billion liters last year and will hit 4-4.25 billion in 2020, according to figures from Vietnam Beer Association.

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