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Thailand's Amata to sell shares in Vietnam subsidiary for new project
By Thanh Nien News -
 A file photo of Amata Bien Hoa, an industrial park built by Thailand's Amata Corp. PCL in collaboration with state-owned Sonadezi Bien Hoa in the southern province of Dong Nai
Amata Corp. PCL, Thailand's largest industrial property developer, will sell part of its stake in a Vietnamese subsidiary this year end to fund its expansion activities, Nikkei Asian Review reported Tuesday.
The initial public offering, to be organized on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, will reduce the stake of Amata and affiliates in Amata Vietnam JSC to 72.61 percent from nearly 89 percent at the moment, it said.
The raised funds will be distributed to Amata's second industrial park to be built soon in southern Vietnam.
The 410-hectare park is part of an industrial park and township complex in Dong Nai Province's Long Thanh District, about 60 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City.
Amata City Long Thanh's total investment is expected to reach US$350 million, the news report said.
It is slated to open in early 2017, although its surrounding commercial and residential areas are still awaiting local authorities' approval.
Part of the raised funds will also go into Amata's sole existing industrial park in Vietnam, Amata Bien Hoa, also located in Dong Nai, according to the report.
A joint-venture with Vietnam's state-owned Sonadezi Bien Hoa, the industrial park was established in 1994 and aims to fill up by 2019.
"Vietnam is a rising sun," Somhatai Panichewa, chairwoman of Amata's investment board and chief executive of Amata Vietnam, said in a comment on the plans.
"We have to take our opportunities there," she told Nikkei Asia Review.
She was quoted as saying that many of Amata's existing clients in Thailand are entering Vietnam, partly due to the rising costs of Thai labor.
However, Somhatai said, the move is also driven by free trade agreements that Vietnam is participating with the European Union and another 11 Pacific Rim nations.
The EU deal is expected to be signed later this year, while the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been awaiting the approval of participating countries' legislature since its negotiations were finished last month.