(Corrects to clarify $2.5 bln is listing value, not shares to
* BIDV to become biggest firm to list on VN index
* Starting price $0.89/share, bank worth est $2.5 bln
* BIDV may make stock debut this month -source
* Govt orders more state-run firms to list
By Ho Binh Minh and Nguyen Phuong Linh
HANOI, Jan 17 BIDV, Vietnam's second-biggest
bank by assets, has won approval to list on the Ho Chi Minh
Stock Exchange at an initial market value of $2.5 billion
in what would be the country's biggest-ever stock debut.
BIDV's listing would be the first in a series from
state-owned enterprises which the government has ordered to go
public this year, including national carrier Vietnam Airlines
and textile maker Vinatex.
The government is reforming a state sector plagued by debt
and mismanagement. It is considering easing economic controls
which could prompt Vietnam's larger companies to sell shares.
The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)
will list 2.8 billion shares representing around 28 trillion
dong ($1.33 billion) of registered capital, BIDV Deputy General
Director Tran Phuong told Reuters.
The bank has set a starting price of 18,700 dong per share,
said Phuong. Vietnam's government owns 95.8 percent of BIDV but
it is unclear whether it would reduce its stake upon listing.
The debut could take place between now and April, Phuong
said. A source close to the listing plan said it could be later
BIDV had planned to list over a year ago but delayed because
of financial market instability and a stock slump.
BIDV raised $75 million by selling 3 percent, or 84.75
million, of its shares in an initial public offering in December
2011. Foreign investors bought 0.15 percent of the offering.
IPO and listing are two separate processes in Vietnam.
The government from February will allow foreign investors to
hold larger stakes in domestic banks. It also plans to raise the
foreign ownership cap in some listed firms to 60 percent from 49
Vietnam's benchmark stock index rose 21 percent last
year making it Southeast Asia's best performer. It has risen in
each of the past 10 sessions, hitting its highest level on
Thursday since May 2010.
On Friday it advanced 2 percent, with all five listed banks
gaining, as investors bet on a brighter outlook for banking
shares and the market as a whole after BIDV shares join the
board, stock analysts said.
BIDV said January-September net profit nearly doubled from a
year earlier to 3.1 trillion dong on higher earnings from
(Editing by Martin Petty and Christopher Cushing)