July 24, 2018 / 10:38 AM / in 9 months

Vietnam's M&A deals value seen at $6.5 billion to $6.9 billion in 2018: government

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam’s total mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) deal value this year could be in a range of $6.5 billion to $6.9 billion, down from a record $10.2 billion in 2017, the government said on Tuesday citing industry data.

Vietnam was home to one of Asia’s quickest-growing stock markets last year with 48 percent growth, backed by some major stake sales by both state and private firms. However, it has lost 13 percent in the past three months as investors fretted about the impact of Sino-U.S. trade tension.

Last year, the Southeast Asian nation posted a record $10.2 billion in deal value, boosted by Thai Beverage PCL’s (TBEV.SI) purchase of 54 percent of the country’s biggest brewer Sabeco SAB.HM for $4.8 billion, Vietnam’s largest ever deal.

M&A deal value in the first half of 2018 reached $3.35 billion, up 39 percent from the same period last year, the government said, citing data complied by Vietnam M&A Forum.

The property sector dominated deals during that period, with Singapore state investor GIC Pte Ltd [GIC.UL] leading the purchases, the Forum said.

GIC bought shares in real estate firm Vinhomes JSC VHM.HM, Vietnam’s second-biggest listed company by market capitalization, for $853 million in April. It also bought into Vincom Retail JSC VRE.HM earlier this year.

Future deals would focus in the real estate and consumer sectors, while telecommunications, energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and education are also likely to attract funds, including those involved in a privatization drive, the M&A Forum said.

The government plans to sell shares in hundreds of state firms, including brewer Habeco BHN.HM, telecoms firm MobiFone Corp, and lenders Vietcombank VCB.HM and BIDV BID.HM.

Reporting by Mai NguyenEditing by Christopher Cushing

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