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UPDATE 1-Vietnam raises $51 mln from selling 23 pct of Vinafood II at IPO

* Vietnam's top rice exporter sells all of 114.83 mln shares

* Vinafood II to sell 25 pct stake to strategic investors
(Adds IPO details, background)

HANOI, March 14 (Reuters) - The Vietnamese government raised
1.16 trillion dong ($51 million) from selling a 23 percent stake
in top rice exporter Vietnam Southern Food Corp (Vinafood II) at
an initial public offering on Wednesday, exchange data showed.

The company sold all of the 114.83 million shares on offer
on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange.

The sale of state-run Vinafood II is part of Vietnam's
broader privatisation programme to increase efficiency and
performance of state-owned enterprises.

The programme, supported by a strong stock market, will also
fill the government's coffers as public debt nears the mandated
ceiling of 65 percent of gross domestic product. Vietnam's main
stock index rose 48 percent last year, making it Asia's
strongest performer.

Trading and retailing firm Hanoi Trade Corp said last month
it aimed to raise around $43 million by selling a 34.5 percent
stake in an IPO on March 30.

Vinafood II has rice processing plants with an annual
capacity of three million tonnes for exports. Most of its
facilities are located in the Mekong Delta, the country's rice
bowl. The company also processes seafood and produces instant
noodles, flour and fish feed.

Vinafood II also plans to sell another 25 percent stake to
strategic investors after the IPO.

Vietnam is the world's third-largest rice exporter. The
country is seen exporting 6.5 million tonnes of rice this year,
up 12 percent from last year.

According to Vietnamese regulations, any state-owned company
has to list its shares within one year after its IPO.
($1 = 22,765 dong)
(Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom
Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Gopakumar Warrier)

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