March 29, 2017 / 11:14 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Vietnam's Petrolimex seeks April 21 local stock market debut, eyes overseas listing

(Adds overseas listing and strategic partner plan, background)

By Mai Nguyen

HANOI, March 29 (Reuters) - Vietnam’s top fuel importer and distributor Petrolimex plans to list all its shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on April 21, its chairman said on Wednesday.

The listing of Petrolimex, 76 percent owned by the government, is part of the Vietnam’s push to privatise state-owned firms to attract investment. Petrolimex had its initial public offering in 2011, which in Vietnam is a separate step from listing shares.

A price for the listing has not been decided, Chairman Bui Ngoc Bao told reporters on the sideline of Petrolimex’s listing roadshow, but would not be lower than the price sold to Japanese strategic investor JX Holdings, which is around 40,000 dong ($1.76) a share, he said.

Petrolimex’s listing price on the exchange would also be around its current price on Vietnam’s over-the-counter market at around 47,000-50,000 dong ($2.02-$2.19) per share, Bao said, which would bring the company’s value to $2.7-$2.8 billion.

Bao said he expects JX would be the only strategic investor in Petrolimex and it could raise its stake in the Vietnamese firm from 8 percent now to 20-25 percent in the future.

“We follow the one wife-one husband rule ... JX is a suitable strategic investor in the field of petroleum, and is the only strategic investor; that’s how we can share all information and trust each other completely,” he told investors.

Bao said the Vietnam listing would be a stepping stone for a possible stock market debut overseas for Petrolimex, where he sees Singapore, both a financial and energy hub, a suitable market. But a plan has yet been mapped out, he added.

Petrolimex has a market share of 48 to 50 percent of Vietnam’s total market in the oil and petrol retail and distribution business, according to Saigon Securities Incorp (SSI), which advises Petrolimex’s listing.

Petrolimex’s income before tax in 2016 surged 68 percent from a year earlier to 6.3 trillion dong ($276.6 million), but the figure is expected to fall 34 percent this year to 4.1 trillion dong, SSI said. ($1 = 22,773 dong) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and David Evans)

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