Japan's ANA eye stakes of Vietnam Airlines

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 09:29

New Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 of Vietnam Airlines lands at Heathrow Airport. It's the first international destination of the aircraft. — Photo VNA

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) is negotiating with national carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) for a strategic stake in the airlines, which was partially privatised last year, according to a report.

The information, reported in the Financial Times on October 4, was confirmed by an official from the VNA's Public Relation Department. However, there was no result of the negotiation yet.

According to the Financial Times, ANA could be pushing at opening a door in Viet Nam, where the government has been seeking a strategic partner to take a stake to help the airline expand, after selling 5 per cent to investors last year in an initial public offering. People in the know said the Vietnamese government was seeking to sell a further 20 per cent to a partner.

For ANA, Viet Nam could be an attractive market with Japanese companies making active advances into the country as they seek to reduce their exposure to China. Direct investment by Japanese businesses in Viet Nam more than tripled to US$9billion between 2011 and 2014, compared with the previous four years, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation. Aeon, Japan and Asia's biggest retailer, opened two big shopping centres in Viet Nam last year.

Speaking at a meeting with leaders of the transport ministry in late September, Chairman of Vietnam Airlines Pham Viet Thanh did not reveal the name of the potential strategic investor but he said it was a big investor from Japan. The investor expressed a special interest in the firm and expected to reach the final agreement on strategic investment.

Thanh said the firm had begun establishing negotiation groups and building detailed plans to carry out negotiation with the above investor.

In the first meeting of shareholders in March, the VNA announced that it would issue more than 282 million shares, equally to 20 per cent of its registered capital, for a number not exceeding three strategic investors, who could be the airlines or a financial investor.

The price would not be lower than VND22,300 ($0.9) per share. It is expected to earn nearly VND6.3 trillion ($280 million) from the share issuance, which would be used to invest in aircraft. — VNS

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