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Vietnam denies reports it is buying back brewery stake from Thai firm

15:26 | 04/06/2020

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said it has no intention of reacquiring stakes in the country’s largest brewer, Sabeco, as rumored. 

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A person holds a Saigon Special bottle in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock/NATTHAMATE.

Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai made the clarification in a statement on Wednesday after Internet rumors claimed ThaiBev, the Thai owner of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation, wants to sell its 53.59 percent stake at VND130,000 ($5.6) a share.

The Sabeco stock closed at VND180,000 ($7.7) on Wednesday.

The spread of incorrect information causes severe damage to the reputation of businesses as well as the business environment in Vietnam, where all efforts are being made to revive the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

ThaiBev, one of Asia’s largest beverage companies, spent nearly $5 billion in 2017 to acquire the stake in Sabeco from the ministry, which retains 36 percent.

The Thai giant too recently denied reports that it is planning to sell Sabeco, saying Vietnam remains a core market.

In December last year ThaiBev denied rumors it was selling shares of Sabeco to brewer Budweiser APAC.

Sabeco, which has a market cap of VND113 trillion ($4.9 billion), recorded a seven-year low profit of VND720 billion ($31 million) in the first quarter, which it said was caused by "unexpected pandemic effects."

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