State to auction entire stake in leading cooking oil firm

The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) plans to auction its entire stake in cooking oil maker Vocarimex, which it values at $43 million.

Vietnam, SCIC, cooking oil maker, cooking oil industry, Vocarimex

It will auction 44.2 million shares of Vietnam Vegetable Oils Industry Corporation (Vocarimex) on November 4 this year, the SCIC announced Wednesday. The shares comprise the agency’s entire 36.3 percent stake in the cooking oil company.

The starting price for the shares, ticker VOC, would be VND22,690 ($0.98) per share, which means the SCIC is expecting at least VND1 trillion ($43.16 million) from the sale, said the SCIC.

The VOC shares are listed on the Unlisted Public Companies Market (UPCoM), a mezzanine exchange for Vietnam’s two main bourses with less onerous disclosure requirements so as to accommodate stock trading of unlisted firms. Their value immediately shot up to VND23,000 Wednesday morning following the announcement, but had fallen back to VND21,800 at the end of Thursday’s trading session.

Vocarimex, established in 1976, is a leading company in the vegetable oil industry in Vietnam. In addition to producing and trading vegetable oil, Vocarimex also operates in several other businesses through several subsidiaries. These include port services, warehouse, office rentals, and cosmetics.

Vocarimex has a 24 percent stake in the Cai Lan Vegetable Oil Company, a 26.54 percent stake in Tuong An Vegetable Oil Company, 40 percent in LG Vina Cosmetics, and 49 percent in the KIDO Nha Be Cooking Oil Company.

Vocarimex is one of Vietnam’s leading oil exporters, with products being shipped to countries with high standards requirements like New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea.

In the first half of this year, Vocarimex’s total assets rose 4 percent to VND2.74 trillion, according to its latest bi-annual financial statement.

During this period, Vocarimex reported a 4 percent year-on-year increase in net revenue to VND1.37 trillion and 12 percent year-on-year increase in post-tax profits to VND110.6 billion, results the cooking oil producer attributed to cost cutting measures it undertook during the Covid-19 crisis.

Currently, Vocarimex’s biggest shareholder is KIDO Group, one of Vietnam’s biggest confectionery names, which holds 51 percent.

Vocarimex is one of 85 government invested firms that the SCIC had planned to divest from this year, at least partially. The SCIC was set up in 2005 to restructure State-owned enterprises to make them more efficient and to enable the state to consolidate capital in sectors it considers key.

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