Bottles of beer move along a production line at a factory of Saigon Beer Corporation in Hanoi. A US$5 billion stake sale in the state-owned firm propelled Vietnam shares on Monday. (Reuters photo)

Vietnam shares rose more than 2% on Monday, helped by a US$5 billion stake sale in state-owned Saigon Beer Corporation (Sabeco) in the country’s biggest ever privatisation process, while Philippines rose on bargain-hunting after last week’s losses.

A unit of Thai Beverage Plc won the auction to buy a 54% stake in the top brewer, with the Thailand-based company emerging as the only buyer after the anticipated sale of the state-owned maker of Bia Saigon gained momentum in recent months.

The Vietnam index ended 2.5% higher with gains in consumer staples and financial stocks boosting sentiment, and is hovering near a decade-high hit earlier this month.

Shares of Sabeco gained as much as 2.8% before closing flat.

“From last week, the market has expected that (Sabeco’s share sale) would be successful; therefore investors have a positive outlook at the beginning of this week,” said Do Bao Ngoc, a senior analyst at MB Securities in Hanoi.

The Vietnam index posted a weekly loss of 2.1% last week.

“Top Vietnamese stocks went through two weeks of strong correction; prices of some stocks dropped to a level that was quite appealing (to investors). After this market correction, a strong cash flow returned to the market, especially into the top stocks,” Do said.

Among other gainers, Vietnam Dairy Products JSC rose 4.1%, while Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp was up 6.3%.

In the Philippines, shares closed 1% higher following losses of about 1.5% on Friday. 

Real estate stocks drove the gains on the index, with Ayala Land up 2.1% and SM Prime Holdings Inc climbing 1.9%.

“The market went down sharply on Friday, and today is some bargain-hunting ahead of a possible window dressing by the end of the year,” said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities Inc in Manila.

Indonesia recovered from losses earlier in the day to close 0.2% higher. Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT rose 1.6%, while cigarettes maker Gudang Garam Tbk PT ended 3.1% higher.

Singapore and Malaysia stocks were little changed.

News Reporter

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