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M&A scaled down in 2020 but some deals stand out




Inside a Vinmart supermarket in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of Vinmart

HÀ NỘI — The year 2020 marked a rough year for the global finance and equity markets as the COVID-19 pandemic scaled down the global economy and discouraged investors to execute their M&A deals as planned.

The Vietnamese equity and finance market was no exception. There was a reduction in the number of M&A deals compared to previous years as people were advised not to travel if unnecessary, making it difficult to conduct mutual negotiations and talks.

But there were some outstanding M&A deals in 2020 that surprised the market.

In early October 2020, former chairman Nguyễn Bá Dương announced he would retire from the chairmanship of the construction group Coteccons (HoSE: CTD) after having been involved in the development of the business for 16 years.

The resignation marked the end of Dương’s control in the business with his fellows being removed from their positions and replaced by the representatives of Kusto Group.

It also put an end to the conflict between Dương and his companions with Kusto representatives over whether Coteccons’ performance and information disclosure had met the expectations of all shareholders.

Attention of the market then switched to the restructuring of Coteccons’ member companies such as Newtecons and Recons.

The conflict and negative market condition pushed Coteccons’ shares down by nearly 31.2 per cent between August 25 and October 16. Since then, the company’s shares have gained 46 per cent.

In January-September, Coteccons earned VNĐ10.3 trillion (US$447 million) worth of total revenue and VNĐ369 billion worth of post-tax profit, which fulfilled 64.5 per cent and 78 per cent of the full-year targets, respectively.

Masan action

At the end of 2019, consumer firm Masan acquired 83.74 per cent of the total outstanding ordinary shares at Vingroup’s retail store operator Vincommerce through a share swap deal.

After the deal, Masan has made strong investment to restructure Vincommerce, which runs Vinmart+ and Vinmart stores. As of the end of September 2020, Vincommerce had 122 Vinmart stores and more than 2,520 Vinmart+ stores across the country as well as 14 high-tech agriculture farms.

Masan has recently announced a new development strategy for 2021-25, in which the number of Vinmart stores is projected to rise by 300 and that of Vinmart+ stores by 10,000 in all 63 provinces and cities. At the same time, Masan will seek and co-operate with 100 strategic partners to develop a win-win business model.

Vincommerce is expected to meet the breakeven point in the fourth quarter. New stores are being opened in Hà Nội and HCM City to demonstrate its new operational model.

After the first nine months, Vincommerce earned VNĐ23.68 trillion worth of total revenue – accounting for 42.5 per cent of Masan’s total revenue. The firm’s EBITDA margin in the third quarter of the year was up 3.7 per cent on-year and the number of bills printed at retail stores – an indicator showing the change in the number of shoppers – gained 9.3 per cent on-quarter.

Revenue of mini store chain Vinmart+ was up 38.4 per cent on-year in the third quarter and up 56.5 per cent on-year in the first nine months despite more than 420 stores being closed. Supermarket chain Vinmart posted a 5.4 per cent annual increase in third-quarter revenue, but the figure was lower than expected because the number of shoppers in big cities and urban areas declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thai investors

Thai companies in 2020 had deeper penetration in Việt Nam through share purchasing deals from packaging, retail to energy sectors.

In April 2020, SCG Group bought 94 per cent of capital at Biên Hòa Packaging Company (HoSE: SVI) amid the growth of online shopping in Southeast Asia as people were restricted from travelling.

Super Energy Corporation Co Ltd has announced the company would spend maximum $456.7 million investing in four solar power plants Lộc Ninh 1, Lộc Ninh 2, Lộc Ninh 3 and Lộc Ninh 4 in Bình Phước Province.

The company already owned six solar power projects in Việt Nam with total production capacity of 286.72 megawatts.

The Bangkok-based Gulf Energy owned 95 per cent of capital at the offshore wind power project Bình Đại, which has total capacity of 310 megawatts. The company in 2020 raised its ownership in two joint-venture solar power projects TTC1 and TT2 – under the co-operation with Thành Thành Công Group – from 49 per cent to 90 per cent.

Thailand targets 30 per cent of the country’s total power supply to come from renewable energy, meaning the output capacity of power plants must reach at least 16,788 megawatts. The production of Thailand’s domestic renewable projects accounts for 53 per cent of the total figure. —



C.T. Group honored as one of the best companies to work for in Asia

Real estate developer C.T. Group received the annual HR Asia Award for being one of the best companies to work in Asia at a ceremony held in HCM City on August 11.



The prestigious award of “Best Companies to Work for in Asia” was presented by the continent’s leading magazine – HR Asia.

This is the second time CT Group has received this prestigious award and the first time that this Corp has surpassed nearly 600 “competitors” in Vietnam to achieve the highest score at 4.68/5 points (94%).

This score is 25% higher than the average score of businesses competing across Asia in 2022 and far from the average score of Vietnam, according to the property developer.

Achieving the position that many businesses across the continent aim for is not easy since the list of “Asia’s Best Places to Work” is selected through an extremely rigorous evaluation process.

The evaluation was made according to the TEAM (Total Engagement Assessment Model) model which is based on a set of criteria including Core, Self, Group applied to major human resource markets in Asia.

Accordingly, CORE (Collective Organization for Real Engagement) assesses culture, discipline, management capacity, leadership, and agile initiatives; SELF (Heart, Mind, Soul) assesses the level of cohesion, pride, and emotion at work; and GROUP (Think, Feel, Do) measure the level of cooperation of members with businesses.

“CT Group is extremely proud to become one of the Enterprises with a fantastic working environment in Asia 2022,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Tien Phuong Deputy Director – Community Human Resources Department of CT Group during the honoring ceremony.

“Our group is the center of human development with a way of wisdom, dignity, skills and lifestyles. In addition, to economic development for common prosperity for all members and their families. “360-degree policy” – is a policy that cares for the development of physical and spiritual life in all aspects.”

On the 30th anniversary of the Corporation’s establishment, CT group has awarded an attractive ESOP stock bonus, even a chauffeur received ESOP stock shares which were equal to VND10 billion, life insurance – Lifetime insurance with preferential rates to billions of Vietnam dong.

The market is always impressed with the team that rewards cars for employees annually, everyone is happy in an open and especially loving environment.

At work, employees also have the opportunity for physical training, improve health and feel a positive life. In addition, CT Group regularly organizes entertainment activities, social participation, tourism, and vacation every year. Moreover, the journey of CT Group Caravan is one of the important pieces to building the corporate culture of the Group.

CT Group is the door to access science and technology from the world and enter the future 4.0 of humanity. Photo: CT Group
CT Group is the door to access science and technology from the world and enter the future 4.0 of humanity. Photo: CT Group

The activity was inspired by the program of West Point Military Academy (USA), which trained many leaders globally. If you like the community service activities, the CT group is an opportunity for all of you to join hands to contact the community right away, the honest poor, the weak in society, because the core value of CT group is a corporation for the community right from the early days of its establishment.

For young people who love hi-tech, CT group is the door to access science and technology from the world and enter the future 4.0 of humanity. The catchphrase from veteran employees:” CT group is a place where an ordinary employee can become great people”.

After 3 decades of establishment and development, with the second 30-year plan, CT group aims to add resources up to 25,000 by 2025, CT Group is attracting many outstanding talents not only in domestic but also all over the world, from foreigners to expatriates with knowledge, overseas talents, those from many different fields such as High Technology (Cell Tech, Fintech, AI, Protech, Flytech, Clean Energy ) finance, construction, sales – marketing, … to contribute to diversifying the staff network, serving the strategy of technological transformation with a scale spread throughout the Group including 50 companies members and work offices in many countries around the world.

For the second time being honored as “Asia’s Best Place to Work”, CT Group not only once again affirms its position but also prepares strongly for the upcoming global integration, becoming more and more “classic, quality, difference” in creating an ideal and desirable working environment for the community.


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Vietnam ready for talks with US on tax evasion investigation into Vietnamese steel pipes



Vietnam is willing to hold trade talks with the United States to timely solve arising problems regarding a U.S. anti-circumvention investigation into steel pipe products imported from the Southeast Asian country. 

Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the statement at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on Thursday following reports that the U.S. officially initiated an investigation into the case.

Hang affirmed that the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership has witnessed progress in all fields in recent times, including in economy, trade, and investment. 

Vietnam is the leading trade partner of the U.S. in Southeast Asia, while the U.S. is the second-largest trade partner of Vietnam, with two-way trade turnover exceeding US$110 billion in 2021.

“Vietnam advocates promoting economic, trade, and investment cooperation with the U.S. on the basis of freedom, fairness, and mutual benefits in accordance with bilateral agreements and regulations of the International Trade Organization (WTO),” she said.

“Vietnam is willing to exchange with the U.S. through existing mechanisms such as the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to promptly solve arising problems and strengthen economic, trade, and investment relations for the interests of businesses and people of the two countries.”

In their lawsuit filed in May, major U.S. steel pipe manufacturers, namely Nucor Corporation, Bull Moose Tube, and Maruichi Steel Corporation, accused Vietnam of importing hot rolled steel (HRS), the main raw material used to produce steel pipes, from several countries, including China, for processing steel pipes to be exported to the U.S..

By doing so, the said Vietnamese exporters try to evade the respective trade remedy tax that the U.S. is levying on several countries, including China, according to the lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently decided to officially initiate a probe into the case.

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Masan Group honored in Top 50 Corporate Sustainability Awards 2022

During the Sustainable Development “Good for business, Good for planet” Conference held by Nhip Cau Dau Tu magazine on Wednesday, Masan Group was honored in the Top 50 Corporate Sustainability Awards 2022.



This award aims to promote the sustainable development trend spreading among the business community and Vietnamese society and honor businesses that typically implement sustainable development strategies and adopt commitments for green growth and community responsibilities.

Top 50 Corporate Sustainability Enterprises 2022 were evaluated and voted based on five main assessment criteria: Stable growth, Sustainable corporate culture, Corporate governance, Environment protection, and Social responsibility. The judicial panel is reputable international and local experts.

Honoring green businesses, serving the community

Recently, awareness development towards systemic issues including climate change, diseases, natural resource depletion, and gender inequality has promoted investment trends following ESG criteria or sustainable investment in the region. Recognizing this importance, the Government signed Decision No. 167/QD-TTg approving the “Program to support private business sector in sustainable development period 2022 – 2025”.

The program aims to raise awareness of the private sector business community’s role and the importance of sustainable business.

Along with business, sustainable development is a key pillar of Masan’s strategy. Masan’s sustainability initiatives are focused on bringing value to social life and contributing to local communities.

WinMartWinMart+ conducts several promotions to form green consumption habits. Photo: Masan
WinMartWinMart+ conducts several promotions to form green consumption habits. Photo: Masan

Masan Group has continuously been researching and leading utility trends to improve Vietnamese material and spiritual lives and contribute to the country’s overall development.

The Vietnamese private conglomerate was recently honored in the Top 50 listed companies in 2022 held by Forbes Vietnam Magazine, for ten consecutive years. And Top 10 at Vietnam Top 50 Public Companies (VIX50) conducted by Vietnam Report.

This is the best result of Masan’s ceaseless efforts in the journey of serving our consumers and developing businesses in parallel with sustainable development. At the same time, it is the motivation for Masan constantly creates more and more quality products and services, contributing to the general development of the community, society, and the country.

Masan’s sustainable development journey

Since the early days of Masan’s establishment, community development and social responsibility have been among its sustainable development goals. Masan Group, Vietnam’s leading consumer-focused business group, believes in “Doing well by doing good” when serving the daily essential needs of consumers. Community initiatives are an essential part of its mission to improve the lives of nearly 100 million Vietnamese consumers.

The largest modern retailer with nearly 3,000 WinMart/WinMart+ supermarket and mini-marts – WinCommerce always upheld the spirit of Vietnamese people using domestic goods and keeping the retail sector for Vietnamese people.

As a result, Vietnamese goods make up 90% of products sold in the system. MEATDeli produces meat products with European standards and provides world-class animal protein for Vietnamese consumers.

Along with that, Masan Consumer also preserves and brings Vietnamese culinary culture to the world through familiar brands of fish sauce, soy sauce, instant noodles, chili sauce, etc. At the same time, it encourages Vietnamese manufacturers to upgrade to international standards and enhances the competitiveness of domestic goods.

Masan sponsors eye surgery for people in Binh Thuan province. Photo: Masan
Masan sponsors eye surgery for people in Binh Thuan province. Photo: Masan

Masan High-Tech Materials (MHT), the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech tungsten metal powders and tungsten carbide (mid-stream tungsten products), always focuses on environmental protection and sustainable development. With the potential of the state-of-the-art mining and processing technology, constant innovation, research, and development of products, over the years.

Masan High-Tech Materials demonstrates sustainable and responsible mining practices complying with leading international standards, ensuring minimization of resource losses and optimization of the value of natural resources, with a mineral recovery rate of over 96%. Besides, MHT also brings outstanding contributions to Vietnam’s economy, society, and sustainable livelihoods for thousands of local workers.

In 2021, Masan Group contributed nearly VND 5,450 billion to the State budget. Since 2021, the Group has contributed more than VND 500 billion to activities to support local residents and frontline workers in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic and to implement various community health and social security projects.

Recently, the Group sponsored eye surgery for 1,000 people in 2 provinces of Binh Thuan and Kien Giang and donated to the Ho Chi Minh City “For the national sea and islands – For the fatherland frontline” Fund 2022. 


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