By Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Group on Thursday unveiled its plan to list its rubber affiliate on the Singapore Exchange.
HAGL chairman Doan Nguyen Duc announced the listing plan at a shareholders’ meeting in HCMC on Thursday afternoon. Duc said HAGL believed the Singapore Exchange would serve as a good platform for its rubber corporation to find qualified investors.
Duc told the Daily during the tea-break of the meeting that the HAGL Rubber Corporation would be listed on Vietnam’s stock exchange before having its shares traded on the Singaporean bourse, hopefully in 2014 and 2015.
HAGL’s deputy general director Vo Truong Son told shareholders that the group planned listing of the rubber corporation in Vietnam in 2014 and Singapore in 2015, and the parent company would retain its majority stake at this corporation whether the listing was materialized locally or offshore.
Duc detailed HAGL would manage to hold a stake of at least 65% in the rubber corporation, whose equity is evaluated at around US$1 billion based on the current price of shares at this corporation.
Duc said three investors of Vietnam, the Netherlands and Japan had bought a 4% stake worth nearly VND1 trillion (some US$48 million) of the rubber corporation. In addition, this corporation has issued convertible bonds worth US$55 million for Temasek Holdings and the Singaporean investment company can choose to convert these bonds into shares upon maturity in the coming years.
Duc said listing HAGL Rubber Corp. on the Singapore Exchange was one of the conditions that Temasek mentioned when it bought the convertible bonds last year. More than one year ago, Temasek completed purchase of convertible bonds worth some US$55 million from HAGL and reserved the option to convert these bonds into shares of the group.
HAGL Rubber Corp. will plant 8,800 hectares of rubber trees in Vietnam’s Central Highlands provinces of Gia Lai and Dak Lak, Laos and Cambodia this year and 6,400 hectares next year to complete its plan to have 51,000 hectares in these countries.
Duc said HAGL continued to look for local and foreign investors for its rubber corporation as one of the ways to ensure its investment projects in rubber, hydropower, mining, real estate and other areas to keep going on when it was still difficult to take out bank loans with lowered interest rates.
He told reporters that HAGL would strive to find appropriate capital sources this year for its investment projects, with the focus on mobilizing capital through HAGL Rubber Corp. and other affiliates operating in mining, real estate, hydropower, wood and granite production.
Duc said HAGL would replace its short-term loans by medium-term loans to reduce risks for its business and ensure liquidity and cash flow for the parent company and its affiliates in a time when macro-economic problems still loomed large.
HAGL aims for before-tax revenue of VND1.2 trillion (around US$57.6 million) this year coming from real estate, hydro-electricity, mining, construction, and furniture sales among others. Duc said this target was revised down from VND1.7 trillion the group projected earlier this year given the current tough market conditions.