Eight investors have registered to become strategic shareholders of the Vietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil) as of January 10, PV Oil CEO Cao Hoai Duong confirmed on the sidelines of the corporation’s roadshow.

Among the eight investors expressing interest in buying PVOil stakes are six foreign companies and two domestic. All six foreign investors famous international oil companies, Duong said on January 12.

“We have received an application from a foreign investor who expressed a wish to buy 49 per cent of the PV Oil shares, the cap set for foreign investors.”

Because other foreign investors want to buy a stake between 25 and 35 per cent, the total shares investors have registered to buy has exceeded the number of shares that PV Oil is allowed to sell, the CEO added.

PV Oil, a subsidiary of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and the country’s sole crude oil exporter, plans to offer 20 per cent of its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) on January 25 on the HCM Stock Exchange, at an initial price of VND13,400 per share.

With nearly 207 million shares offered in the IPO, the company hopes to raise at least US$122 million.

PV Oil would also offer up to an additional 44.72 per cent or 462 million shares to strategic investors and another 0.18 per cent to employees. The Government’s ownership is expected to be reduced to 35.1 per cent after the equitisation is completed.

Foreign ownership of PV Oil is capped at 49 per cent of its charter capital.

According to Duong, investors seeking to become strategic investors at PV Oil must commit to long-term investment in PV Oil by keeping their stock for at least 10 years.

In addition, strategic investors have to commit to prioritise buying petroleum products from Dung Quat Refinery and realise commitments in terms of market, technology and management development. Foreign investors are also required to deposit an amount of money equivalent to 20 per cent of the stake they register before entering the auction.

Every potential strategic investor must submit to PV Oil a proposal to develop the company if it becomes a strategic investor, Duong said.

Specifically, the company expects that foreign oil and gas corporations will help develop the non-petroleum sector such as convenience stores, fast food stores, car wash services and garages along with the network of 540 PV Oil petrol stations.

“In fact, in other countries, the non-petroleum service is profitable, equivalent to petroleum trading service and has the ability to create good cash flow,” Duong said.

Therefore, PV Oil expects foreign strategic investors with extensive experience and financial and managerial capabilities to effectively support the company’s development of these non-petroleum services.

“In the context of Viet Nam’s increasing integration with the international market, we hope that foreign partners will help us to effectively import and export products, minimise risk when the market prices fall and take advantage of opportunities when the market prices increase,” the CEO stressed.