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UPDATE 1-Vietnam to sell majority stake in brewer Sabeco

(Adds details on sale, background)

HO CHI MINH CITY, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Vietnam said on Wednesday it aims to sell 54 percent of Sabeco, the maker of Bia Saigon and 333 beers and the country's biggest brewer, in a deal that the government hopes to raise nearly $5 billion.

The long-awaited sale has already attracted interest from brewers seeking access to what is the second-most profitable market for Heineken NV, which holds 5 percent of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco).

It could also provide a template for other privatizations which Hanoi is considering as part of broader economic reforms, including that of peer Habeco, in which Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S owns 17.3 percent.

The mininum price for the long-stalled sale of Sabeco was set at 320,000 dong ($14.10) a share, trade ministry official Truong Thanh Hoai told a news conference on Wednesday.

Foreigners already owned over 10 percent in Sabeco, and the total limit for such ownership was still capped at 49 percent, he said.

Sabeco's shares are trading at 340,000 dong and have tripled in value since the company listed on the Vietnamese market at 110,000 dong in December 2016. The government owns nearly 90 percent of Sabeco and analysts said the low float had inflated the market value.

Vietnam is on track to become Asia's biggest per-capita beer market and is shaping up as a battleground for global brewers thanks to a youthful population and beer-drinking culture.

Sabeco's sale process could also provide a template for other privatizations which Hanoi is considering as part of broader economic reforms, including that of peer Habeco , in which Danish brewer Carlsberg A/S owns 17.3 percent. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Writing by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Stephen Coates)