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Online Gaming Firm VNG Plans to Be the First Vietnamese Company Listed Overseas

Nasdaq signage and logo on black background in New York CityNasdaq signage and logo on black background in New York City
Nasdaq signage is seen in New York City, USA. on Oct. 17, 2015 The NASDAQ Stock Market, is an American stock exchange. It is the second-largest exchange in the world by market capitalization. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)Roberto Machado Noa LightRocket via Getty Images

Vietnamese online gaming and messaging firm VNG said on Tuesday it has signed a preliminary agreement with U.S. bourse operator Nasdaq (NASDAQ-PREMIUM-INCOME-GROW) to explore an IPO, in what could be the first overseas listing by a firm of the Southeast Asian nation.

The agreement, which could see Nasdaq help VNG prepare for the listing, was signed on the sidelines of Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to the United States, the first by a Southeast Asian leader since Donald Trump became U.S. president.

Founded in 2004, VNG provides online games, music streaming and messaging applications. Its statement did not disclose details about the IPO plans. The company was not immediately available for comment.

Communist-ruled Vietnam, a country of 93 million, has been supporting its start-up and technology firms as it reforms its economy to eventually rely less on cheap labour and low-tech industries.

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Other Vietnamese companies are also eyeing overseas listings. Budget carrier VietJet, which has a market value of $1.7 billion, said in January it has revived plans for an overseas listing.