The talks are focusing on BSR’s equitisation plan for 2017 as well as its Dung Quat Refinery expansion project, another major task undertaken by the company.

“The equtisation process is a chance for potential investors to partake in BSR’s progress, while the Dung Quat expansion programme is still in its developmental stage.

“Once it is operational, BSR’s market value will surely change accordingly,” said Mr. Tran Ngoc Nguyen, BSR General Director.

As the operator and overseer of the Dung Quat Refinery, BSR intends to complete the expansion in 2021, he said.

The refinery will increase its capacity by 30 percent to 8.5 million tonne of crude oil per annum, meeting about 50 to 60 percent of domestic oil demand, and generate export products meeting EURO IV and V standards.

Executives of both companies are also discussing import and export channels for BSR’s crude oil to accommodate Dung Quat’s expansion, operating capacity and growth opportunities in the context of fluctuating world oil prices.

“We hope to have further in-depth meetings with BSR to gather enough information before making our decisions on investing in BSR’s equitisation,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung, Chairman of Sovico Holdings.

Once the equitisation process starts in the third quarter of 2017, BSR expects to leave 49 per cent of its shares owned by the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

BSR aims to have three main investor groups: strategic shareholders, financial shareholders and registered shareholders.

Sovico Holdings’ current registered capital is VND 1 trillion (45 million USD), with interests in a wide range of businesses including real estate. It is a majority shareholder in private airline Vietjet Air.

BSR’s 2016 revenue totalled 5 trillion VND (224.6 million USD), down 21 percent from 2015. In the first quarter of 2017, however, the company has already earned a post-tax income of 1.8 trillion VND (80.8 million USD).

BSR general director Nguyen disclosed that at the end of 2016, many foreign partners had asked to purchase shares in the Dung Quat Refinery, including Russia’s Gazprom Neft and oil companies from Thailand and Singapore.

Key criteria for BSR’s future strategic partners include strong financial capability and experience in the oil refining field, he said.