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Vietnam's Bamboo Airways eyes Q3 listing with market cap of $2.73 bln

HANOI, March 19 (Reuters) - Vietnam’s startup Bamboo Airways said on Friday it aimed to list its shares on a local stock exchange in the third quarter and raise its domestic market share to 30% by the end of this year from 20% currently.

The company plans to list 105 million shares on either the Hanoi Stock Exchange or the Hochiminh Stock Exchange at an initial price of 60,000 dong ($2.60) each, potentially putting its market capitalisation at $2.73 billion, chairman Trinh Van Quyet said.

“Market conditions are ripe for the (listing) plan,” Quyet told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Bamboo Airways, which reported pre-tax profit of 400 billion dong in 2020, is targeting an expansion of its aircraft fleet to 40 by the end of this year from 28 currently, Quyet said.

Quyet said the airline, which is owned by property and leisure company FLC Group, is ready to resume international commercial flights once the government lifts a suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We hope the government will prudently reopen international commercial flights from the end of the second quarter or early third as the domestic outbreak has been effectively contained,” Quyet said.

Bamboo Airways also expects to receive supportive policies from the government to help it compete with regional rivals.

The airline has asked the government to arrange a loan of 5 trillion dong ($216.70 million) with low or zero interest rates via local commercial banks, the government said on Friday.

“Domestic airlines should be equal in accessing preferential loans, doesn’t matter if it’s a private or state-owned firm,” Quyet said.

The central bank earlier this month said it was planning to provide an interest-free loan of up to 4 trillion dong to Vietnam Airlines to help the loss-making flag carrier weather the wide impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)

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