Vietnam to sell 49 percent stake in construction firm Lilama

Thanh Nien News

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State-owned Lilama Corporation is set to sell 49 percent stake this month. Photo credit: Lilama 18 JSC State-owned Lilama Corporation is set to sell 49 percent stake this month. Photo credit: Lilama 18 JSC

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State-owned company Lilama Corporation will have an initial public offering later this month and then look for up to three strategic investors, aiming to raise around VND740 billion (US$32.6 million), local media reported. 
The IPO has been scheduled on November 26 at the Hanoi Stock Exchange, where the company will sell 35.5 million shares, equivalent to 23.7 percent of its charter capital. 
Lilama, now run by the Ministry of Construction, will then find a maximum of three strategic investors for another 23.7 percent stake. Another 1.6 percent be sold to the corporation's employees.
The government will continue to own a controlling stake of 51 percent in the company. Its charter capital is expected to double to VND1.5 trillion ($66.09 million). 
Lilama, which has invested in 22 companies, is the oldest and leading contractor in Vietnam, responsible for many large power plants. 
Its return on equity ratio fell to 4.74 percent last year from 10.2 percent in 2012, while its return on assets declined to 0.52 percent from 0.69 percent.
Post privatization
Lilama was ordered to limit its operation to its core sectors of construction and manufacturing engineering, after privatization, the Saigon Times reported.
Accordingly, it will have to divest from 13 subsidiaries, and reduce its stakes in another five companies to less than 50 percent.
Vietnamese government plans to further reduce its ownership in the corporation to 40 percent by the end of 2017, it said.
The Ministry of Construction has sent a letter to the government, saying that it would like to manage the company until 2020, instead of transferring it to sovereign fund State Capital Investment Corporation this or next year. 
A similar proposal was made for another five companies, including construction materials manufacturer and trader Viglacera Corporation and infrastructure developer Licogi.

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