* State investor selling 9 pct of Vinamilk
* Vinamilk is Vietnam’s biggest listed firm
* Government has pledged to sell Vinamilk (Adds details of the sale, context)
By Mai Nguyen
HANOI, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley Asia will lead a group to advise on the sale of a 9 percent stake in Vietnam’s biggest listed firm, dairy produce company Vinamilk , said stakeholder State Capital Investment Corp (SCIC) on Friday.
The advisory group, including Vietnam’s Saigon Securities Inc and VinaCapital Corporate Finance Vietnam, on Wednesday signed a consulting contract with SCIC, the government’s investment arm said on its website.
Vinamilk has a market value of $9.25 billion having grown 21 times in value since listing a decade ago, Reuters data showed. Its shares have risen 33 percent so far this year on hopes of solid earnings and the previously promised stake sale.
Steps to deliver on the government’s pledge to sell the fast-growing dairy producer will likely be welcomed by investors tiring of the country’s incremental partial-privatisation of state assets, market watchers said.
Vietnam Dairy Products JSC, as Vinamilk is formally known, scrapped its 49 percent foreign-ownership cap in July in preparation for the stake sale this year by SCIC, which owns 44.7 percent of the dairy firm. The 9 percent stake is worth $830 million at the current market price.
The advisory group will consult on the minimum bidding price, seek potential investors and complete necessary procedures for the stake sale, SCIC said. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christopher Cushing)