Viet Nam IT Leader Makes Strong Debut on Stock Exchange

Local investors watch an electronic screen at Securities Incorporation in Ho Chi Minh city Securities Trading Center where Vietnam's leading information technology FPT made its debut, Dec.13, 2006 (AFP Photo)

Viet Nam's leading information technology group FPT made an enthusiastic debut on Ho Chi Minh City's stock exchange Wednesday, weeks after teaming up with several US software companies, the group said.

A total of 60.8 million shares were traded, ending the day at 400,000 dong (25 dollars) each, the company said in a statement.

The listing gave the company a market value of 1.5 billion dollars, or about 20 percent of the value of the fledgling bourse in Ho Chi Minh City.

FPT Corporation is the nation's market leader in mobile phone distribution, systems integration, software outsourcing and development, telecom, Internet and e-media content and computer assembly.

Last year the company, which employs 5,000 people, reported revenue of more than 517 million dollars, having booked an average of 70 percent annual growth over the past five years.

"Our next target is listing on a regional stock trading centre and to become a global corporation," said chief executive officer Truong Gia Binh. "We know that there will be many difficulties and obstacles."

FPT listed on the exchange just weeks after the group and Microsoft Corporation signed a three-year strategic alliance agreement.

In October, FPT also said it had sold shares worth 36.5 million dollars to US chip giant Intel and private equity firm Texas Pacific Group.

"We see FPT's announcement of its IPO as a positive step for the company to reach its goals of growing internationally and expanding into new lines of business," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital.

Viet Nam's stock market has witnessed spectacular growth in 2006, expanding from a total value of just over 500 million dollars in January to more than 7.4 billion dollars now.

The IT market in Viet Nam has been growing 20 percent annually and is now worth more than 800 million dollars.

Viet Nam, with a highly literate population of about 84 million, two-thirds of them aged under 30, is Southeast Asia's fastest growing personal computer market.

Source: AFP

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