Mobile World Rises to Ceiling in Vietnam Stock Trading Debut

Mobile World Investment Corp., Vietnam’s biggest mobile-phone retailer, surged by the limit in its trading debut on bets the company will benefit from growth in the nation’s market for hand-held devices.

The stock rallied to 81,500 dong on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, valuing the company at 5.11 trillion dong ($241.2 million). Mobile World listed about 62.72 million shares with a reference price of 68,000 dong apiece today. Shares can rise or fall by a maximum 20 percent from the initial price on their first day of trading. The stock traded as high as 120,000 dong in the so-called over-the-counter market before the debut, according to SanOTC, which tracks OTC prices in Vietnam.

Mobile World’s reference price “does not fully reflect” the company’s potential, Hoang Huu Tri, an analyst at FPT Securities JSC, said by phone. “It is not a surprise the stock rose to the ceiling.” The benchmark VN Index rose 0.6 percent, extending this year’s gain to 16 percent.

Vietnam will feature among the top 10 countries that have the highest density of mobile-phone ownership in the world by 2016, FPT Securities said in a July 9 note. There were 98 million mobile-phone users in the country as of December, the Ministry of Information and Communication said Dec. 26. Vietnam has a population of about 90 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“The consumer market in Vietnam is young and hungry for hand-held devices,” Patrick Mitchell, head of institutional sale and trading at VinaSecurities JSC, said by phone today. “Mobile World will have success as consumers continue to view the latest devices as desirable luxury items.”

The company’s revenue may climb 68 percent this year and net income will likely surge 84 percent, FPT’s Tri said.

Profit reached 264 billion dong, meeting 61 percent of the full-year target, Mobile World said in a statement today.

The company aims to boost pretax earnings by 47 percent to 513 billion dong this year, Tran Huy Thanh Tung, head of the company’s supervisory board said in February interview.

Mobile World operates more than 229 stores in 63 provinces and urban areas in the country, according to its website.

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