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13-year struggle ends with victory for Vietnamese investor



A 13-year confrontation between Vietnamese and foreign investors at a leading sweets manufacturing company has come to an end: the Vietnamese investor has acquired the entire company while the South Korean investor has left.

13-year struggle ends with victory for Vietnamese investor

PAN Group’s Chair Nguyen Duy Hung

PAN Group made public the resolution of the board of management on approving a plan to purchase 7.7 million BBC shares, or 41.06 percent, of the remaining shares in circulation of Bibica, a big sweets manufacturer. Once the purchase is completed, PAN’s ownership in Bibica will be 100 percent.

The decision was made after the South Korean shareholder decided to divest all shares it is holding. The Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on businesses globally, including Lotte.

As such, the struggle between Vietnamese and foreign shareholders in Bibica is expected to end this year. PAN Group’s Chair Nguyen Duy Hung now can raise the ownership ratio to 100 percent which he wanted three years ago.

The struggle between the two sides broke out in 2011, when the shareholder from South Korea wanted to rename the company Lotte-Bibica, putting the Vietnamese name at risk of disappearing.

However, the foreign investor’s attempt failed. Bibica decided to join hands with PAN, selling 35 percent of shares to PAN which acted as a counterbalance to Lotte.

Prior to that, with an aim to develop more strongly, Bibica had welcomed the investor from South Korea. With its presence, Bibica could develop and the brand become better known.

Bibica also received support in finance, technology and branding, and its products have been exported to many Asian countries.

However, the spirit to protect the Vietnamese brand kept by Bibica and the financial tycoon Nguyen Duy Hung changed the situation. The strong rise of large domestic corporations and the deep understanding about Vietnamese culture allowed Bibica to continue growing rapidly. Bibica share prices have increased sharply over many years, thus bringing big benefits to shareholders.

Domestic 100-million consumer market

After the deal is completed, Hung’s PAN Group will hold 100 percent of Bibica shares. The sweets manufacturing company will serve as an important part of PAN’s 3F strategy (feed-farm-food) on developing food and foodstuff industry.

Once the entire company belongs to one owner, Bibica will be able to gather strength to develop its production scale, boost sales and expand its market share.

Once the entire company belongs to one owner, Bibica will be able to gather strength to develop its production scale, boost sales and expand its market share.

PAN Group recently approved the plan on issuing shares, 245.8 million units at maximum, or VND2.358 trillion in face value and VND7 trillion in current market price, to increase charter capital.

Foreign investors have made investments in Vietnam’s companies and then taken over companies in the last two decades. However, the robust growth of domestic private corporations has changed the situation. In many cases, Vietnamese enterprises have bought back Vietnamese brands which fell into foreign hands, and have even taken over foreign companies.

The Masan Group of billionaire Nguyen Dang Quang has taken over Vinacafe Bien Hoa (VCF) shares, including VinaCapital. Both Masan and Vinacafe Bien Hoa benefited after the deal. VCF has been growing well.

In 2016, it was Masan which ‘laid its cards on the table’ and prevented the expansion of foreign influence in the food processing industry.

At that time, Anco, belonging to Masan Nutri Science (MNS), beat out South Korean CJ CheilJedang to obtain the right to buy shares and become the strategic shareholder of Vissan JSC, thus helping MNS approach the leading position in the industry.

MNS was the Vietnamese enterprise which took over two famous brands, including Proconco (which was a joint venture between France and Vietnam), and Anco (a joint venture between Malaysia and Vietnam). Livestock products using the feed of the two brands are accepted to go directly to the US market.

Meanwhile, Vicostone, the quartz manufacturer, has become a Vietnamese owned company. It is now taking the lead in artificial stone and listing itself among the companies with the biggest profits in the stock market.

About one decade ago, the Vietnamese retail market was ‘scorching hot’ with the entry of large corporations from Thailand, South Korea, Japan and France. For many years, the retailers’ playing field was nearly controlled by foreign players, including Metro, Big C, Lotte and Aeon, which overwhelmed Vietnamese brands such as FiviMart, Intimex and Hapro.

However, in recent years, Vietnamese brands, including Vinmart, which is now Winmart of Masan, and The Gioi Di Dong, are dominating the market.

In agriculture, An Giang Plant Protection JSC, which is now Loc Troi Group, and the foreign shareholder VinaCapital, had a disagreement in business strategy. VinaCapital later decided to divest from Loc Troi, and the Vietnamese group has been growing very well, becoming the No1 player in the Vietnam’s rice market.

Meanwhile, analysts say that the leading position of CP Group owned by the Thai billionaire Chearavanont was affected after Vietnam’s Masan Group launched the Masan MeatLife brand in a plan to enter the pork market worth $10 billion. Masan MeatLife (MML) has listed its shares and has capitalization value of over $1 billion.

The rise of domestic corporations in the struggle with foreign giants is an optimistic signal that shows the robust growth of Vietnamese businesses in domestic and world markets. 

M. Ha



Vietnam targets 7% GDP growth this year: minister



HANOI — Vietnam is aiming for economic growth of 7% this year, the country’s planning and investment minister said on Monday, higher than an official target of 6.0%-6.5% set previously.

To achieve this, year-on-year economic growth in the third quarter needs to be 9.0% and in the fourth quarter 6.3%, minister Nguyen Chi Dung also said during a government meeting.

Dung said Vietnam’s budget was in surplus, giving scope for fiscal policy to be used to support businesses and residents.

“Credit institutions will need to further cut their lending interest rates to reduce input cost pressure for businesses and for the economy,” he said.

Vietnam, a regional manufacturing hub, started lifting its coronavirus curbs late last year, allowing factories to resume full operations.

The economy is recovering after growing only 2.58% last year, the slowest pace in decades.

The Southeast Asian country reported GDP growth of 7.72% in the second quarter, backed by strong export growth, but warned of upward inflation pressure for the rest of the year. 


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Vietnam spends $40bln importing computers, electronic components since early 2022

Computers and electronic components continue to be the lead group of imported goods, with a turnover of approximately $40 billion, according to the latest data from General Department of Customs.



From the beginning of the year to June 15, the country spent $39.62 billion importing computers, electronic products, and components, an increase of 29.3% from a year ago.

Computers, electronic products, and components remain the largest import item of Vietnam, accounting for 23.36% of the total import turnover of the economy.

The second-largest imported goods were machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts with $20.43 billion. The largest import market of this product group was Asia.

Importing computers, electronic products, and components from South Korea was $10.53 billion, a sharp increase of 44% from an earlier year. China was after South Korea with $10.36 billion, up 29.2%. Computer import from Taiwan was recorded at $4.98 billion, up 35.5%; from Japan with $2.89 billion, up 39.8%.

From the beginning of the year to the end of June 15, the total import turnover reached $169.58 billion, an increase of 16.3% (equivalent to an increase of $23 0.8 billion) from last year.

In addition to computers, and electronic products, commodity groups with high turnover such as petroleum increased by $2.53 billion, an increase of 128.4%. Coal of all kinds increased by $2.19 billion, equivalent to 135.7% growth.


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Yeah1 to buy TV firm amid restructuring

Online entertainment company Yeah1 plans to buy a 51 percent stake in TV and radio company STV amid a major restructuring endeavor.



The deal is set to be completed this quarter. STV, established in 2008, owns lifestyle TV channel StyleTV, stock and finance channel InfoTV and radio channel Joy FM.

The deal was announced after Yeah1 founder and chairman Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong sold his entire 12.89 percent stake on June 1 after 15 years of leading the company from an online news website to the first media company to be listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange.

Several other major shareholders have also been pulling out since February, including DFJ VinaCapital Venture Investment.

Yeah1 has postponed its annual general meeting twice this year saying more time was needed to prepare important documents.

It reported post-tax profits of nearly VND28 billion last year after two years of losses.

Its contract with YouTube was terminated in March 2020 due to a violation of policies, and what began as an operational error has “turned into a real crisis for the company,” Tong once said.

Yeah1 targets revenues of VND588 billion this year, down 45 percent from 2021 and the lowest since 2017.

It plans to issue 78.6 million new shares to increase its capital.

Source: VnExpress


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