Commodities giant Bunge is selling part of its Vietnam-based crush operations to rival Wilmar International.
The deal highlights a trend across Asia, whereby commodity traders are divesting assets or setting up joint ventures with a view to reduce their costs and exposures.
The sale will lead to a three-way joint venture with local soybean meal distributor Quang Dung retaining a 10% stake alongside the larger partners, which will hold 45% each.
Many commodity houses took significant hits over the course of 2015 in the region, which has led to a period of consolidation this year. Despite this, most analysts remain bullish on Vietnam – perhaps because of the poor performing markets that surround it.
The country is expected to enjoy a huge surge in inward investment and exports if and when the TPP is ratified, but some have warned that it is not the answer to problems elsewhere in the market.
One trader who has traded metals in Vietnam for the past decade tells GTR that the fundamentals for the country look less promising than many believe. “Investors are too bullish on that. Nevertheless, with QE ending and Brexit happening – banks and [others] are seeking any reason to invest in emerging markets.”
The three companies involved in the joint venture have earmarked Vietnam as a dynamic edible oils market and hope that their collaboration will allow them to tap into that.
A joint statement from the three reads: “The joint venture creates integrated operations that are both a source and sales outlet for oil in Vietnam, and that enable increased participation in the domestic feed milling industry.”
“The collaboration will create increased operating, marketing and logistics synergies across the Vietnam oils and soybean meal value chains. We will remain a low-cost operator with the highest efficiency possible,” adds Bunge CEO Sore Schroder.