HAGL attempts to offset home losses by foreign expansion

March 29, 2016 | 10:41
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Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group (HAGL) continues to expand to foreign markets in the context of its troubling business results at home.

On March 19, HAGL held the ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase of HAGL Myanmar complex in Yangon city, representing the total capital of $230 million. 35 per cent of the investment capital, equalling $80.5 million, was provided as a loan from Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

According to HAGL chairman Doan Nguyen Duc, the 130,000 square metre development has five 28-floor blocks containing 1,134 apartments and offices for rent. The developer expected to hand over apartments to customers in early 2018.

The first phase of HAGL Myanmar complex, worth the total capital of $440 million, was opened on June 23, 2015. The 73,000-square metre facility includes a trade centre, two 27-storey office towers, and a five-star hotel.

Expanding to Myanmar is implemented while HAGL currently faces multiple challenges. HAGL reported losses of VND589 billion ($26.4 million) in the fourth quarter of 2015, the first since the company was listed in 2008.

Throughout 2015, HAGL’s shares were on the ropes, with their prices falling by 122 per cent compared to the previous year. The group’s market capitalisation slipped from VND17.5 trillion ($777 million) on January 1, 2015 to VND7.9 trillion ($351 million) on January 8, 2016.

Do Quang Hop, deputy head of Research at Saigon-Hanoi Securities, noted that HAGL’s debts raised by 46 per cent, to VND30 trillion ($1.3 billion), throughout 2015. This excessive borrowing amounted to twice the owners’ equity and four times the group’s chartered capital. He also noted that the borrowing costs for these loans also grew by 88 per cent in 2015. Moreover, HAGL had to bear major foreign exchange losses, while its business results declined, according to the latest reports for 2015’s third quarter.

By By Ha Vy

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