May 23, 2018 / 9:08 AM / a year ago

South Korea's SK, Japan's Idemitsu in line to buy stake in Vietnam's PVOIL

HANOI (Reuters) - PetroVietnam Oil Corp OIL.HNO is in talks to sell a 44.72 percent stake to strategic investors later this year, after its $184 million initial public offering in January, its parent Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or PetroVietnam, said on Wednesday.

South Korea’s SK Holdings (034730.KS), Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan (5019.T) and two Vietnamese companies have registered as potential buyers, with demand for the offered shares exceeding supply by nearly three times, PetroVietnam said in a statement.

The two Vietnamese companies are Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Bank HDB.HM and Sovico Holdings, chaired by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the billionaire founder and chairwoman of Vietjet Aviation VJC.HM. Thao is also the vice chairwoman at HCMC Development Bank.

The stake sale, to be conducted via a share auction, is to take place by end-July. If that date is missed, PetroVietnam Oil is looking to move the sale to November, pending approval from the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the company, also known as PVOIL, said in a separate statement.

The Vietnamese government raised $184 million through the sale of a 20 percent stake in PVOIL in an initial public offering in January.

PVOIL said the strategic investors will have to hold their stake for at least 10 years.

Idemitsu Kosan already holds a 35.1 percent stake at Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical LLC, which owns a 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Thanh Hoa province.

PVOIL reported a pretax profit of 238 billion dong ($10.5 million) on total revenue of 16.5 trillion dong in the first four months of this year, PetroVietnam said, without giving comparative figures.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Tom Hogue

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