Vietnam's FPT denies reports on exit from retail business

Thanh Nien News

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An FPT Shop store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Luan An FPT Shop store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Luan

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FPT, Vietnam's biggest technology company, has rejected reports that it is going to sell retail and distribution businesses, saying it will only reduce its investment.
By selling parts of FPT Retail and FPT Trading, the company will be able to focus more on IT and telecom services, which are seeing "big opportunities," deputy CEO Nguyen The Phuong told news website Dau Tu on Tuesday.
FPT now owns a 84.27 percent stake in FPT Retail and 100 percent of FPT Trading. 
He denied media reports that FPT planned to exit from the segment of retail and distribution and that it failed to compete with top mobile retailer The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World).
The move will help the company find investors with financial capacity and experience who can help expand its business, he said.
Phuong did not reveal how many shares FPT will put up for sale, saying that Viet Capital Securities and Japanese-owned securities firm Nomura have been hired as consultants.
Previously speaking with Thanh Nien, Nguyen Bach Diep, CEO of FPT Retail, which operates digital store chain FPT Shop and Apple-authorized stores F.Studio, said FPT has been always focusing on developing the retail business.
As the group's fastest growing subsidiary, FPT Retail accounted for 19.6 percent of its revenue last year, she said. Figures from the company showed the subsidiary posted revenue of more than VND7.83 trillion (US$346.76 million) last year, up 148 percent from 2014.
FPT Retail expects its revenue to hit VND10 trillion ($442.57 million) this year, she said.
Japanese-owned news website Nikkei Asian Review last week cited an unnamed source from FPT as saying that the company will possibly sell off its retail and distribution operations by the end of this year.
FPT reportedly plans to add another 50 outlets to its current network of 260 nationwide under new investors.
The deal was estimated around VND2.3-2.7 trillion ($103-121 million), an analyst said in the news report.

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