UPDATE 1-AB InBev completes Vietnam merger after government approval - state media

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HANOI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest beer maker, has completed its merger in Vietnam with SAB Beer after securing approval from the country’s trade ministry, state media reported.

Vietnam, with a population of nearly 98 million, is one of the most attractive markets in Asia for brewers, with beer sales seen growing by about 10% per year on average over the decade 2010-2020. It is one of Asia’s biggest beer consumers by volume.

The merged company would have the capacity and resources to operate with higher productivity, to be more competitive and offer better quality to the Vietnamese market, VNA said, citing Truong Van Toan, AB InBev Legal and Corporate Affairs Director for Southeast Asia.

Vietnam’s trade ministry and AB InBev did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation.

AB InBev’s more than $100 billion takeover of SAB Miller in 2016 brought together its Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona brands with SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell. It brews almost a third of the world’s beer.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Martin Petty and Barbara Lewis