Nasdaq-bound firm may be Vietnam's first IPO abroad

VNG's CEO Le Hong Minh says the tech start-up signed an MOU to list on Nasdaq after receiving regulatory approval from the Vietnam government.
VNG's CEO Le Hong Minh says the tech start-up signed an MOU to list on Nasdaq after receiving regulatory approval from the Vietnam government.

HANOI • Vietnamese technology start-up VNG Corp said it has signed an agreement to list shares on the Nasdaq stock market.

VNG, whose investors include GIC and Goldman Sachs Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to list on the exchange after regulatory approval from the Vietnam government, co-founder and chief executive officer Le Hong Minh said. The process could take 18 to 24 months, he said.

"No Vietnamese company has ever filed for an IPO (initial public offering) overseas," he said in a Skype interview from New York City yesterday. "We are anticipating it will be a challenging process."

Mr Minh did not disclose the timing or size of VNG's IPO. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is in the United States to meet President Donald Trump today, met a Nasdaq executive and Mr Minh in New York City on Monday after the MOU was signed, according to VNG.

His presence is an indication the government supports the start- up's overseas IPO, Mr Minh said.

VNG, founded in 2004 and based in Ho Chi Minh City, forecasts revenue this year of US$180 million (S$249 million), an increase of as much as 70 per cent from last year, Mr Minh said.

The company's games, including Sky Garden: Farm In Paradise and Dead Target, have shipped to over 230 countries, according to VNG.

Its chat app Zalo has more than 70 million users in Vietnam and other places, including Myanmar, the US, Japan, South Korea, Ma- laysia and Taiwan.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Nasdaq-bound firm may be Vietnam's first IPO abroad'. Print Edition | Subscribe