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IPO Makes VietJet First Airline to List on HCMC Stock Exchange

After its initial public offering (IPO) on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, low-cost airline VietJet has joined a handful of local companies that are worth over US$1 billion.

According to Financial Times, since the IPO on Tuesday, February 28, VietJet’s shares have jumped by one-fifth on the local stock exchange, climbing from their initial listing price of VND90,000 to VND108,000 (US$4.74). It’s also worth noting that the company’s IPO was Vietnam’s biggest-ever, as the listing was valued at US$1.43 billion by the end of the day.

The news source also added that VietJet’s was the third-largest listing for a local company, after those in London by Indochina Capital Group and JSM Indochina in 2007.

The low-cost airline was founded by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, a property and banking tycoon. According to Zing, she currently owns 32.66% of the company’s shares, making her the richest woman on Vietnam’s stock market.

Zing also reported that VietJet’s stock (VJC) price is three times higher than that of Vietnam Airlines (HVN). However the amount of VJC stock currently on the market is only a quarter of HVN's, while Vietnam Airlines’ current value is 42% higher than VietJet’s.

VietJet is arguably Vietnam’s fastest-growing and most controversial airline. Three years ago, a set of leaked images from a promotional photo shoot made international headlines for its raciness: all of the models on set wore bikinis in VietJet’s color scheme.

During former United States president Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam last year, the company also managed to ink a US$11.3 billion contract for 100 Boeing 737 aircraft as part of an ambitious plan for regional expansion.

[Photo via Bao Cong Thuong]

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