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HAG to fully tap rubber potential with investments

Update: April, 23/2012 - 10:39

HCM CITY — The Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAG) plans to tap advantages it has to make its rubber operations a major business, its top official said on Thursday.

The group is currently active in the real estate, hydropower, rubber and mining sectors, among others.

Chairman Doan Nguyen Duc told an annual shareholders' meeting on Thursday that they would plant rubber trees on additional 8,800ha this year and another 6,460ha next year to complete the goal of having 51,000ha of rubber plantations in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia.

HAG will invest in a rubber latex processing plant in Laos, which has half of its total rubber acreage, that will go into operation in the fourth quarter of this year.

Duc said HAG enjoyed low rubber production costs of less than US$1,000 per tonne while world prices have recently fluctuated between $4,000 and $6,000.

He plans to list the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Rubber Joint Stock Corp, in which the group has a 96 per cent stake, in Viet Nam before taking it to the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2014 or 2015. The remaining four per cent is held by several domestic and foreign institutional investors.

The group last year sold $55 million worth of convertible bonds of the rubber affiliate issued in August 2010 to Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singaporean government.

HAG targets maintaining a 65 per cent stake in the rubber corporation.

The group has set its pre-tax profit goal for this year at VND1.2 trillion, down from 2011's VND1.7 trillion, because of the tough economic situation. — VNS

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