Investors should take a look at divestment in Vietnam's water sector

Recent reports of contaminated tap water have caused great public concern across Viet Nam, the latest issue for investors in a sector the State is divesting from.

Investors should take a look at divestment in Vietnam's water sector
Clean water treatment system being operated in HCM City’s Can Gio District. Water production companies are facing the risk of degradation in both quality and reserves of raw water materials.

The State-owned Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO), HCM City's largest tap water supplier, currently has the largest total water production capacity in the market, producing nearly 1.9 million cu.m per day and night.

The company’s water supply capacity is 2.4 million cu.m per day, nine times more than the supply capacity of the Song Da Water Plant, run by Song Da Water Investment JSC (VCW), one of the major water providers in Ha Noi, whose water was allegedly polluted with waste oil dumped near the water source for its plant.

SAWACO uses water mainly from the two basins of the Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers (94 per cent), with only 6 per cent from underground water. SAWACO said the quality of water from the Dong Nai River and Sai Gon River is getting worse.

The company currently has capital of nearly VND5.1 trillion (US$218 million), total assets of VND12.9 trillion, annual revenue of VND4.5 trillion to VND4.8 trillion, and annual profit of some VND360 billion. It has 10 water supply companies in HCM City.

HCM City People's Committee plans to divest capital at SAWACO to below 50 per cent.

Hanoi Water Limited Company (HAWACOM), which owns Yen Phu Water Supply Plant in Ha Noi and 12 other water plants in other regions, is also in the equitisation list by 2020.

The State will reduce its capital in HAWACOM but keep its holding above 50 per cent. This company also runs six water supply companies and five water equipment firms.

Dong Nai Water Supply JSC (DNW) has total production capacity of more than 400,000cu.m per day and night. The company runs Nhon Trach Water Plant with capacity of 100,000cu.m per day, backed by loans from the Japanese government.

It also operates Thien Tan Water Supply project with capacity of 100,000 cubic metres per day, in addition to other water supply projects in suburban districts with small capacity of 10,000-12,000 per day.

Binh Duong Water Environment Joint Stock Company (BWE) has charter capital of VND1.5 trillion with water production capacity of more than 380,000 cubic metres per day and night. In 2017, the State lowered its holdings in BWE to 41 per cent.

 

The company has three water plants and five water supply companies. In the first nine months of 2019, BWE’s revenue exceeded VND1.9 trillion and post-tax profit touched VND305 billion, up 40 per cent over the same period last year.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Water Supply Joint Stock Company (BWS) has charter capital of VND630 billion, managing six water plants with total capacity of 180,000 cubic metres per day serving more than 166,000 people in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

BWS plans to increase its charter capital from VND630 billion to VND800 billion. It will also raise the capacity of Ho Da Den Water Plant by 125,000cu.m per day.

Hai Phong Water Supply JSC (HPW) managed eight plants with total capacity of 213,500cu.m per day, with more than 300km of main transmission pipelines and thousands of kilometres of distribution pipelines, serving 265,000 customers.

Thu Dau Mot Water JSC (TDM) has two water plants, Di An and Bau Bang, with total capacity of 137,600cu.m per day. The annual revenue is about VND278 billion, 2018 post-tax profit touched nearly VND190 billion, up 95 per cent year-on-year.

Song Da Water Investment JSC (VCW) saw net revenue of VND402 billion in the first nine months of 2019, up 21 per cent year-on-year, post-tax profit was VND199 billion, up by 30 per cent year-on-year.

VCW currently has two large shareholders, Gelex Energy One Member Limited Liability Company, which owns 60.46 per cent and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Joint Stock Company (REE), which owns 35.95 per cent.

The company provides 300,000 cubic meters per day for southwestern Ha Noi.

Last Tuesday, Viwasupco cut service to parts of Ha Noi to clean its pipes and reservoirs after its water was contaminated by oil, affecting more than 250,000 families or about a million people in the capital city. It resumed service on Tuesday without any assurance of the water quality. — VNS

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