HANOI (BLOOMBERG) – A consortium led by GIC has paid US$500 million (S$690 million) for a minority stake in a retail unit of Vingroup JSC, according to a statement from the Singapore sovereign wealth fund on Monday (Sept 9).

The consortium has acquired a minority stake in VCM Services and Trading Development Joint Stock Company, a unit that Vingroup recently set up to oversee the operations of its supermarket and convenience store chains.

Vingroup and VCM Services & Trading Development JSC have “established themselves as reputable retail companies with attractive brands in Vietnam’s fast-growing consumer market”, GIC said in the statement. “As a long-term investor, GIC is confident in the growth outlook for disposable incomes and household consumption in Vietnam.”

VCM operates VinMart+ and VinMart outlet stores in Vietnam. There are more than 108 VinMart supermarkets and some 1,700 VinMart+ convenience stores across the country, according to the firm’s website. Vietnam’s economy is forecast to expand 6.7 per cent this year, one of the fastest among South-east Asian nations.

Stock in Ho Chi Minh-listed Vingroup rose as much as 1.4 per cent, the biggest intraday increase in more than two weeks. The shares are up almost 30 per cent since January.

Credit Suisse Group is the financial adviser to Vingroup, a person familiar with the matter said earlier. Vingroup will remain as the controlling shareholder of VCM post the transaction, according to Monday’s statement.