Off The Wire
Vietnam plans to sell shares of major state rice exporter Vinafood II
HANOI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Vietnam plans to sell shares in the country's main rice exporter through an initial public offering (IPO) as part of efforts to speed up the privatisation of state firms.
The government plans to raise at least 1.16 trillion dong ($51 million) by selling a 22.97 percent stake in Vietnam Southern Food Corp, known as Vinafood II, according to an official privatisation plan dated Dec. 29 and published on the government website on Jan. 3. The company is Vietnam's main rice exporter.
Shares of the rice exporter would be sold at an initial price of 10,100 dong ($0.44) per share, valuing the company at $222.4 million.
In addition, the government said it planned to sell 25 percent of Vinafood II to strategic investors.
The share sale is expected within three months, the government said, without giving precise details.
Vietnam has accelerated its planned divestments of hundreds of state-owned enterprises, partly because of the need to fund a budget deficit and amid growing public debt, but progress has been slow. ($1 = 22,709 dong)
(Reporting by Mi Nguyen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)