- Vietnam-based internet company VNG Corp has signed a preliminary deal with US stock exchange Nasdaq to explore an initial public offering. It could be the first overseas listing by a Vietnamese firm.
- The agreement was signed on the sidelines of Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to the US, the first by a Southeast Asian leader since US President Donald Trump took office.
- No details about the IPO plan were revealed except that Nasdaq could be helping VNG prepare for the listing.
Why it matters:
- VNG, one of Southeast Asia’s very few unicorns, is a competitor of Sea (formerly Garena), which itself is reportedly considering an early-2018 IPO in the US.
- Both companies have taken a cue from Chinese tech giant Tencent, originally focused on games before moving to areas such as digital content, chat, payments, and ecommerce. VNG’s chat app Zalo is Vietnam’s version of Tencent’s WeChat.
- Holding stakes in both VNG and Sea, Tencent is fighting a proxy war with another Chinese behemoth Alibaba over Southeast Asia.