Vietnam’s Bikini-clad Airline Revives Overseas Listing Plan

Tuan Minh

15:26 11/01/2017

BizLIVE - Vietnam’s no-frills carrier VietJet Air has revived its plans for an overseas listing.

Vietnam’s Bikini-clad Airline Revives Overseas Listing Plan

Passengers check in at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo: Bloomberg

VietJet Air JSC, which is known for its bikini-clad flight attendants, has restarted plans to list its shares on an overseas capital market as it is proceeding to float its shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange late next month, international media reported.
The budget carrier may consider listing on either the Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo bourses, CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao told Reuters, declining to give a timeline for the listing.
VietJet had earlier planned an overseas last year, but a domestic listing is required first in line with the Vietnamese legislation.
The airlines last month sold 66.4 million shares, or a 22.2% stake, to 23 foreign investors during a pre-listing stake sale. The buyers, including Morgan Stanley, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Dragon Capital, Mirae and VinaCapital, bought the shares at 84,400 dong ($3.72) each, valuing the carrier at $1.2 billion.
Before the stake sale, VietJet in mid-December last year transferred 6.57 million shares to three foreign investors -- Wareham Group Ltd., Dragon Capital Markets Ltd. and DC Developing Markets Strategies Public Ltd.
 VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. Photo: Reuters
Established in 2007, VietJet now commands more than 40% of the domestic aviation market. To meet the fast-rising traveling demand from a large population of young people and a growing economy, the airline has placed multi-billion-USD orders to expand its fleet.
It announced in May last year that it had ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX 200 jets that would cost $11.3 billion at list prices. During French President François Hollande’s visit to Vietnam last September, Vietnam signed a deal with Airbus to purchase 20 A321s for $2.4 billion.
To raise more funding, the company also plans to issue bonds in overseas markets and is in talks with the region’s carriers and banks for a strategic investment, Thao added.
VietJet currently operates about 60 routes both locally and internationally, and expects to have a fleet of 200 aircraft by 2023, Thao said.
VietJet expects its profit to rise 30% in 2017 after its earnings nearly doubled year-on-year to 2.3 trillion dong ($101.8 million) in 2016, Thao added.