|Petrolimex workers operate cutting machines at Petrolimex Construction Co 1 in northern Hai Phong. Petrolimex plans to sell 15-25 per cent of stakes to Japanese investors. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Dat
HA NOI (VNS) — Japanese JX Nippon Oil & Energy will spend around 20 billion yen (US$177 million) to take a 10 per cent of stake in Vietnam National Petroleum Group or Petrolimex (PLX).
Tran Ngoc Nam, deputy director of Petrolimex, the country's largest petrol company, told financial newspaper Nikkei.com that it was submitting a plan to sell 8 per cent of stake to the Japanese partner in the first batch, and added that he would be more specific about the plan once he received approval.
Currently, Petrolimex controls more than 50 per cent of the petrol in the local market where motorcycles are still the main vehicles of the nation with a population of 90 million. The use of automobiles kept increasing recently. In 2015, Viet Nam consumed between 17 million metric tonnes and 17.5 million metric tonnes of petroleum products, an increase of 12 per cent to 15 per cent over 2014.
Under the co-operation, the Japanese company would help Viet Nam with expertise in business matters, including gas station management and payment systems.
In fiscal 2016, JX would decide whether to join a Petrolimex oil refinery project in southern Viet Nam's Van Phong Economic Zone.
The energy industry in Viet Nam was forecast to lead the investment trend in 2016, as projected by the nation's foreign investment agency. The local government anticipates that foreign direct investment commitment in this sector will see a record high of $4.5 billion this year.
Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, representing the State ownership, controlled 95 per cent of stake in PLX.
Going public in 2011, PLX was seeking investors to sell up to 25 per cent of stake.
Based in Ha Noi, PLX has a registered capital of VND10.7 trillion (US$486.36 million). In the first nine months of 2015, it earned a net profit of VND2.14 trillion, an increase of 85.8 per cent over the same term last year. Under the PLX restructuring plan, it would raise the charter capital to VND12.5 trillion.
Also according to Nikkei, Idemitsu Kosan, another Japanese energy company, holds a 35.1 per cent stake in a $9-billion refinery in Nghi Son Economic Zone in north central Viet Nam. The refinery is set to begin commercial operation in mid-2017.
Over 60 per cent of Japanese businesses operating in Viet Nam plan to expand their operations, regarding the Southeast Asian nation as a crucial investment destination, according to a survey released by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on Tuesday. — VNS