Vingroup delays Singapore listing on 'difficult market'

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The Vincom Center Ba Trieu shopping mall, operated by Vingroup Joint-Stock Co., stands in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Vingroup Joint Stock Co., Vietnam's largest shopping mall owner, is putting on hold plans to list on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. as foreign investors pull capital out of emerging markets.

The Hanoi-based company is also delaying an international bond sale, Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup's chief executive officer, said in an interview Sept. 6. Vingroup said in April it planned to issue as many as 150 million shares and list them on the Singapore Exchange this year.

"The whole market has been quite difficult, and doing a Vietnam deal is not easy," she said. "There has been a lot of outflow from the emerging markets."

Foreign investors have sold $8.9 billion in stocks so far this year in Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea amid speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will reduce monetary stimulus, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Companies throughout Asia have delayed IPO plans this year, including a unit of Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL), the region's biggest commodity supplier.

Global Telecommunications Infrastructure Trust, the undersea cable unit of Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCOM), said in July it will delay a $1 billion share sale in Singapore, and machinery maker Sany Heavy Industry Co. (600031) postponed a $2 billion share sale in Hong Kong.

Thuy didn't rule out a listing later this year. "We still have a few more months to go," she said. "We have to watch the market. We'll see."

Vingroup announced in May that Warburg Pincus LLC, the private-equity owner of Neiman Marcus Group Inc., is leading a consortium to invest as much as $325 million in the company. Joseph Gagnon, a Warburg Pincus managing director, was elected to Vingroup's board of management in June.

Vingroup opened Vincom Mega Mall Royal City in Hanoi, one of Asia's largest underground malls, in late July. During the three-day National Day weekend that ended Monday, the mall attracted about 100,000 visitors each day, Thuy said. "Its success has been beyond our expectations," she said.

The mall's underground area of 180,000 square meters has a retail occupancy of 95 percent, and the two above-ground levels of coffee shops, convenience stores and restaurants aimed at the complex's apartment residents has an occupancy of nearly 50 percent, she said.

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