Thai firms continue pushing for bigger Vietnam market share

15-Mar-2018 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The just increased ownership of NawaPlastic Industries (Saraburi) Co Ltd in Vietnamese firm Binh Minh Plastic (BMP) is yet another clear indication that Thai companies are continuing finding ways to gain a bigger market share in Vietnam.

NawaPlastic Industries, a subsidiary of Thailand’s SCG that is no stranger in Vietnam, spent more than VND2.3 trillion (around $1 billion) acquiring most of the BMP shares offered by State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) to raise its holding in BMP to 49.9 percent from 20.4 percent.

It is worth noting that the BMP shares were sold to NawaPlastic Industries at VND96,500 each, a premium of 17 percent to the March 9 trading price. This showed the Thai firm’s resolve to up its stake in BMP, a leading plastic company in Vietnam with more than 700 products, and 1,500 outlets nationwide.

With a stake of nearly 50 percent in BMP, NawaPlastic Industries has become one of the Thai firms to holding huge stakes in Vietnamese enterprises.

On the part of SCG, it is also expanding its Vietnam operations in three sectors packaging, petrochemical and cement. It recently began work on a petrochemical complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, 10 years after it got approval. The project will produce material for the plastic sector and export.

BJC Group, another Thai firm, has been in partnership with Phu Thai Group of Vietnam since 2013 to operate B’s Mart convenience stores. In 2014, BJC beat Central Group in a bid for the Metro Cash & Carry chain in Vietnam, which was later renamed as MM Mega Market.

A BJC subsidiary in Singapore called F&B also acquired a stake in Vinamilk, Vietnam’s leading milk processor, and showed no sign of stopping there as it registered to buy more Vinamilk shares on the stock exchange last year.

However, the biggest transaction involving a Thai company so far is the 53.39 percent stake acquisition in Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), the biggest brewery in Vietnam, late last year. Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd established an entity in Vietnam with chartered capital of VND681.6 billion but spent nearly VND110 trillion buying the Sabeco shares at VND320,000 each.

In 2016, Siam City Cement Public Co Ltd acquired a 65 percent stake in LafargeHolcim Vietnam from LafargeHolcim Group.

Besides, Central Group bought the Big C supermarket chain in Vietnam from a French investor and a 49 percent stake in domestic household appliances retailer Nguyen Kim.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s CP Group is holding a large market share of the animal feed, poultry egg and pork processing sectors and a wide network of retail stores, excluding the fast food kiosk chain Five Star.

The growing presence of Thai firms in the local retail sector has made Thai goods more prominent in Vietnam.

The increased penetration of Thai firms into the Vietnamese market, according to experts, is an inevitable outcome of their preparations and the Thai government’s support.

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Category: Stocks, Vietnam

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