Foreign cap to be focused at annual shareholder meetings

Thursday, Apr 13, 2017 08:42

An apartment being built by Coteccons. The construction company will ask the shareholders to approve its plan to raise the limit of foreign capital from 49 per cent to 60 per cent at the shareholder meeting. — VNS Photo Doan Tung

A number of listed companies--especially those whose capital structures have run out of space for foreign investment--will discuss raising foreign ownership at their coming annual shareholder meetings.

According to the HCM and Ha Noi Stock Exchange, there are 30 companies that cannot receive additional foreign investment.

Some of these companies are operating in the sectors involved in national security such as banking and property, while some can only lift the limit of foreign ownership on approval of their major shareholders.

Additional foreign ownership has remained a big challenge for listed companies in Vietnamese stock market.

Recently, the construction giant Coteccons postponed its annual shareholder meeting, which was scheduled on April 13, as the company wanted to ask its shareholders to approve the plan to raise the limit of foreign ownership in the company to 60 per cent from 49 per cent.

The company’s shares are an attractive target for both domestic and foreign investors, as the construction firm boasts a high growth rate and constant market growth.

In addition, Hoa Binh Construction & Real Estate Corporation on April 26 will hold its annual shareholder meeting to discuss business strategies for 2017 and ask the shareholders to approve the lifting of foreign ownership in the firm.

Other companies that will do the same include Binh Minh Plastic, HCM City Securities, DHG Pharmacy Company and insurance-finance firm PVI Holdings.

Of the four companies, Binh Minh Plastic and HCM City Securities will be the two companies that attract the most attention when they bring the topic of foreign investment to their annual shareholder meeting.

According to the management board of HCM City Securities, raising the limit of foreign ownership would help the company increase share trading liquidity, raise more capital and receive more support from foreign shareholders.

In the case of Binh Minh Plastic, foreign investors hold 49 per cent of the firm’s capital. The company has run out of space for more foreign investment and has drawn high attention from some foreign companies such as the Thailand-based Siam Cement Group (SCG) and the plastic sector itself often has big M&A deals with top plastic corporations trying to acquire local companies in order to enter the domestic markets.

The issue of raising foreign investment has remained a difficult challenge for both listed companies and market regulators after the finance ministry in June 2015 decided to allow listed firms to lift the limit of foreign investment, depending on the sectors that the companies are operating in.

Raising foreign ownership in listed companies is also one of the decisive factors that Viet Nam needs to take into consideration if it wants to promote its stock market from the level of a frontier market to the level of an emerging market in order to attract higher foreign investment. — VNS

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