(Adds chairman's comments, background)
By My Pham
HO CHI MINH CITY, March 3 Vietnam's state-owned
Petrolimex expects to list its shares on the local stock market
around April 10-12, its chairman said, likely giving the
nation's top oil products distributor a valuation of around $2.3
billion and ranking it among its top-10 listed firms.
The listing on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange is part of the
Vietnamese government's push to privatise state-owned firms to
attract investment. Three-fourths of Petrolimex is currently
owned by the government while Japan's JX Holdings owns
another 8 percent.
Chairman Bui Ngoc Bao told Reuters on Friday the company had
not yet set the listing price, which was expected at around its
value on the over the counter (OTC) market.
Vietnam, which is slowly opening up its domestic market amid
considerable investment interest, has completed several major
share sales and listings in recent months, including a $3.72
billion listing of its top brewer Sabeco in which the
government owns nearly 90 percent.
Saigon Securities, the adviser to Petrolimex's listing, said
in a report on Friday its shares trade at around 40,000 dong
($1.75) each in the OTC market.
"Petrolimex expects to have only one strategic investor
which is JX in our core business of petrol and oil segment," Bao
told Reuters, adding that the firm expects to raise JX's
ownership in Petrolimex to around 20 percent in the future.
Petrolimex has a share of up to half of Vietnam's total
market in the oil and petrol retail and distribution business.
"The listing of Petrolimex will attract huge attention from
investors thanks to its strong corporate governance and growth
potential," Nguyen Duy Hung, chairman of Saigon Securities, told
Petrolimex's businesses include the retailing and
distribution of gas and petrochemicals. It reported a $226.6
million net profit in 2016.
(Reporting by My Pham; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)