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Jardine Cycle & Carriage acquires 5% of Vinamilk

Singapore company becomes second largest foreign shareholder

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Jardine Cycle and Carriage has acquired a 5.53% stake in Vietnam Dairy Products, or Vinamilk, making it the second largest foreign shareholder.

The Singapore-based conglomerate said in a release on Monday that its wholly-owned subsidiary in Vietnam, Platinum Victory, bought the 3.33% stake at an auction by the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) on Nov. 10, and the rest on the stock market. The 3.33% was left over from an auction by SCIC of 9% of Vinamilk last December. 

On that occasion, only Fraser and Neave (F&N), a Singapore-based beverage group, registered for bidding. It purchased a combined 5.4% stake through two subsidiaries, paying 144,000 dong apiece for the shares. F&N is Vinamilk's largest foreign shareholder with 18.74% as of September. 

Saigon Securities, the local adviser for Friday's auction, said that Platinum Victory succeeded with a bid of 186,000 dong apiece -- a 23% premium on the reference price of 151,200 dong.

At the second auction, 19 investors, both local and foreign, registered to buy a total volume of 73.84 million shares -- 53% more than the number on offer. 

SCIC received 8.99 trillion dong ($395 million) from the latest sale, and reduced its shareholding to 36% -- but retained its right of veto. According to documents it recently released, SCIC has no further divestment plans for Vinamilk in the next two years. 

Nguyen Chi Thanh, SCIC's deputy director, told local reporters that the second auction was more successful than expected, yielding 2 trillion dong above expectation.  

Vinamilk shares traded at around 180,000 dong apiece on Monday, 22% higher than before the auction.

Platinum Victor is the biggest shareholder in the blue-chip Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation with a 23% stake. It also owns 25% of Truong Hai Auto, one of Vietnam's largest automotive companies.  

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