Masan Group Corporation (HOSE: MSN) on June 14 announced the completion of a private issuance of a 5.5 per cent stake in The CrownX Corporation to a consortium led by Alibaba Group and Baring Private Equity Asia for a cash consideration of US$400 million.
The deal was first announced on May 18.
The CrownX is Masan’s integrated consumer retail arm that consolidates its interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce.
The transaction implies a pre-money valuation of $6.9 billion for The CrownX, or $93.5 per share. Masan now owns 80.2 per cent in it.
The formation of The CrownX last year brought together two industry leaders to form a consumer and retail powerhouse.
The transaction marks a shared vision across the company’s shareholders that The CrownX has the potential to establish Viet Nam’s first tech-enabled consumer ecosystem and expand its reach to serve consumers nationwide.
Danny Le, chief executive officer of Masan Group, said: “This strategic partnership will accelerate our ability to achieve our goal of transforming The CrownX into a one-stop shop to serve consumers’ everyday needs, whether offline or online, ‘Point of Life’.
“Our immediate priority is to modernise Viet Nam’s grocery market and develop an unparalleled consumer proposition from assortment to shopping experience.
“I strongly believe that this partnership will reduce our learning curve and enable us to reach our endgame more efficiently and effectively.”
Janice Leow, managing director at BPEA, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Masan and Alibaba, and believe this strategic investment has the potential to supercharge The CrownX’s growth in a nascent retail market and create the largest consumer ecosystem in Viet Nam.
“As a long-term investor in the country, we think Viet Nam has a long runway for growth supported by strong macroeconomic tailwinds and attractive demographics.
“The CrownX also has tremendous digital potential, particularly in e-commerce and data analytics. BPEA prioritises digital transformation in all of our portfolio companies, and we look forward to working with the company in its next stage of growth.”
As part of Alibaba’s investment, The CrownX will now partner with Lazada to build the company’s digital presence and capabilities and accelerate the offline to online (O2O) market in Viet Nam.
VCM will enter a strategic cooperation agreement with Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce platform.
It will be the grocery retailer of choice on Lazada in Viet Nam.
The parties will share know-how, co-develop analytics to develop grocery as a key online category, transform VCM’s offline stores into pick-up points for online orders, and explore synergies between the respective parties’ logistics platforms for service and cost optimisation for consumers.
Grocery accounts for 50 per cent of Viet Nam’s retail market and 25 per cent of consumer wallet share and is of essential daily use, but online penetration is still nascent.
Masan targets The CrownX’s online gross merchandise accounting for at least 5 per cent of its total sales in the near future.
Masan is also in advanced discussions for a further strategic investment of $300 – 400 million in The CrownX from other investors, and these are expected to be wrapped up in 2021. — VNS
Currently, trading transactions worth more than 20 million VND (868 USD) have to be made by cashless payment in order to enjoy tax refunds and corporate income tax reductions as regulated by the law on value-added tax.
The proposal is aimed at improving tax governance and strengthening monitoring of expenditures and turnover of businesses and traders, according to an official at the tax department.
The official said that payments using non-cash methods have become increasingly popular in Vietnam, and the Government last year issued a resolution to boost cashless payments in the country.
The department also proposed that the Government create regulations for e-commerce or digital-based business activities conducted by foreign companies like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Agoda, Booking.com and Airbnb.
These companies would be required to provide tax agencies information on individuals and businesses in Vietnam involved in their business activities.
The department also proposed that the Government set regulations concerning investigation of tax fraud and related crimes.
Associate professor Dinh Trong Thinh of the Academy of Finance said it was vital to speed up cashless payments to reduce the risks involved in cash payments and to increase financial transparency.
However, limited payment infrastructure was one of the barriers hindering electronic payment adoption, he said.
Regulations on non-cash payments for all transactions should not be required, he said. There should be a detailed roadmap to implement regulations on non-cash transactions to make it feasible, especially for small enterprises, he added./.
To increase the products’ value and boost exports, the city will adopt a number of solutions to facilitate sales of OCOP and craft products.
According to Nguyen Van Chi, head of Hanoi’s Rural Development Division under the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the city has more than 1,300 craft villages, 5,000 agricultural products tagged with QR codes and 1,054 OCOP products.
The products are diverse in design and type and are of good quality. Many of them have been exported to large markets such as the US, Japan, the EU and Russia, namely garment and ceramic products, textile and embroidery and wooden furniture.
“Hanoi has focused on connecting with provinces and cities across the country and building product value chains to promote trade to enhance the products’ value and promote exports,” Chi said.
Nguyen Thi Kim Loan, Vice Chairman of the Thach That District People’s Committee, said the district plans to set up cooperatives to act as focal points for cooperation with firms in the sale of products because domestic and foreign enterprises can’t sign contracts with each household.
In addition, coordination from businesses and distributors was essential to provide information on consumption trends to help locals produce handicraft and OCOP products that meet market demands, she said.
Nguyen Trung Thanh, an artisan from Bat Trang ceramics village in Gia Lam district, said besides quality and design, it was necessary to show the cultural value contained in each product to satisfy the demand of foreign customers.
Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Acting Director of Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade, said together with craft and OCOP product development, the city focused on trade promotion activities.
Last year, Hanoi held four events to promote the trade of OCOP products associated with the culture of regions across the country. The events attracted large numbers of foreigners who live and work in Hanoi.
In the future, the department would continue to support businesses, co-operatives and households to promote products consumption through fairs, conferences and trade connection activities, Lan said.
She also said on April 28, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the Department of E-Commerce and Digital Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Amazon Global Selling held a seminar on exporting Vietnamese goods to the world with Amazon.
Facilitating Vietnam’s development of cross-border e-commerce were among issues discussed at the seminar.
“Given the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border commerce is becoming an indispensable tool for enterprises to expand their business and export handicraft and OCOP products,” Lan said.
Deputy Director of the Hanoi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre Nguyen Thi Mai Anh, said this year the centre would work with five districts in the city to train producers about trade promotion for OCOP products, equipping them with more skills in marketing and selling products at home and abroad.
Nguyen Ngoc Son, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the city recently issued a plan on rural development in 2021.
Under the plan, the city would assist 10 craft villages in building and registering collective trademarks and provide financial support for 5-10 rural development projects.
Special attention would be paid to strengthening links for product consumption, he said.
Hanoi aims to evaluate and classify at least 2,000 OCOP products by 2025. To obtain the goal, the city needs to boost information dissemination and urge broader participation.
In accordance with Plan No 42 on the development of OCOP showrooms associated with craft village tourism in Hanoi this year, the city will set up 30-40 new showrooms displaying and selling OCOP products. Each district and town will have at least two OCOP showrooms.
The municipal People’s Committee will ask agencies and localities to inspect and supervise the operation of OCOP showrooms and organise promotional programs to enhance the consumption of quality products, including those from cities and provinces nationwide.
The city so far has 630 OCOP products with a three-star rating and above, exceeding the target of having at least 500 OCOP products./.