Vietnam Airlines to sell Techcombank stake

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Vietnam Airlines will divest its interests in Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank of Vietnam (Techcombank) as part of a wider strategy to concentrate on its core businesses ahead of an expected initial public offering.

The SkyTeam carrier will hold an auction for its stock and bonds in Techcombank on 26 September, after Vietnam's state securities commission granted approval in the middle of August. Vietnam Airlines is understood to hold a 2.7% stake in the bank, as well as a number of convertible bonds.

"As directed by the Government, we have prepared for divestment from more than a year [ago]," says the airline's head of finance and accounting Tran Thanh Hien. "This is a necessary step for Vietnam Airlines [before it] launches restructuring and concentration of capital - the development of its core business."

The airline is also reportedly planning sales of its stakes in other non-core businesses, such as Bao Minh Insurance and France Telecom, as part of the restructuring ahead of a possible IPO by the end of the year.

Flightglobal Pro's Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Vietnam Airlines operates a fleet of 77 aircraft, with a further 41 aircraft on order.