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Vietnam’s ‘Bikini Airline’ valued at over billion US dollars in planned IPO

ECONOMYNEXT – Vietnam’s Vietjetair, the country’s only private airline, a firm barely five years old which is growing at a blistering pace is planning an initial public offer at a price which values the firm at over billion US dollars, a media report said.

Vietjetair began flying in 2011 as a domestic airline and has since expanded into international carrier flying to several ASEAN destinations.

The airline is headed by Nguyá»…n Thị PhÆ°Æ¡ng Thảo, one of Vietnam’s high flying female business executives.

Like Mai Kieu Lien, the female boss of Vinamilk, a privatized state firm which has expanded overseas and is one of the most sought after stocks by foreign funds, Thao also studied economics and finance in the Soviet Union.

Vietjetair hit the headlines shortly after launch after stewardesses danced on the isle wearing bikinis. earning the accoldate ‘Bikini Airline’. Vietnam’s civil aviation regulator fined the airline 100,000 dollars for having an unauthorized public performance.

Reuters, a news agency citing un-named sources said the airline was planning to offer 44.7 million shares to raise 194 million US dollars, at around 75,900 to 98,400 dong (less than 4 US dollars), which valued the airline at between 1.08 to 1.4 billion US dollars.

BNP, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and VietCapital are advising on the offering.

The airline, which is barely five years old, now has a fleet of 22 aircraft and has over 200 more on order.

Analysts say VietJet already has a 40 percent share of the domestic market and is likely to overtake state-run Vietnam Airlines as the top domestic carrier.
Its aircraft now carries advertising for domestic and international companies, including Pepsico. (Colombo/Dec02/2016)





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