HÀ NỘI – Stock prices of many local start-up companies are valued extremely high, far above prices of large-cap shares on the two national stock exchanges, which demonstrates investor confidence in the high-growth potential of the Vietnamese startups.
To date, the highest price for a start-up stock is over VNĐ3.8 million (US$172.2) of Vexere Corporation, a local startup which operates the online bus ticket booking portal Vexere.com.
According to the financial information website cafef.vn, a local investment fund manager entrusted by a foreign fund paid over VNĐ8.5 billion to buy 2,222 shares of Vexere Corporation in 2015.
The price was even twice that of the amount the fund management company had spent to buy shares of the bus ticket platform in 2014. Two years earlier, this fund spent VNĐ2.1 billion to buy 1,112 shares of Vexere.com, equivalent to VNĐ1.9 million per share.
The share price of E.D.H Trading Development and Investment Corporation, which owns 99.9 per cent of charter capital of the online education provider Topica Edtech Group, was also valued at VNĐ1.9 million each in 2014.
Such prices are even higher than those of the highest valued stocks on the two national stock exchanges.
Among nearly 700 codes on the HCM City and Hà Nội stock exchanges, there are only fifteen stocks being traded at over VNĐ100,000 a share. They are all leading companies in their industry sectors like dairy giant Vinamilk, Hậu Giang Pharmaceutical JSC, Bình Minh Plastic JSC, VinaCafe Biên Hòa JSC and Thiên Long Group Corporation.
According to market insiders, Việt Nam’s startups have high valuation due to their “micro” charter capital levels, usually between several billion đồng to a few dozen billion of đồng.
E.D.H Trading Development and Investment Corp has a charter capital of just VNĐ2.5 billion while that of Vexere is only VNĐ133 billion.
Besides, foreign funds have bet on local high-growth startups which are expected to expand rapidly thanks to the country’s stable economic development and fast increase of the middle-income class.
In 2015, Japan’s CyberAgent divested a part of its investments in Foody with a price of around VNĐ300,000 a share, but it bought a batch of shares of the price comparison platform Websosanh at VNĐ284,000 a share.
Early this year, Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) spent $25 million to buy a 20-per-cent stake in M_Service, the tech firm behind the electronic wallet MoMo, which was valued at $125 million.
Việt Nam-based Internet company VNG Corporation, known as Việt Nam’s first unicorn, invested nearly VNĐ383 billion in e-commerce platform Tiki for a 38-per-cent stake.
The deal, which closed in January this year, valued Tiki at over VNĐ1 trillion, a four-fold increase over 2013. – VNS