Carlsberg is hoping to snap up a stake in Vietnamese state-owned brewer Hanoi Beer Company (Habeco).

The Danish brewing giant has registered its interest in buying a 10% stake in Habeco, which is Vietnam's second-largest brewer.

The Vietnamese government is selling 24% of Habeco, with a 10% shareholding being made available to a strategic investor. Another 10% will be made available to the public, while the remaining 4% will be offered to the brewer's employees.

Two years ago, Carlsberg signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnamese authorities on future co-operation over Habeco.

A spokesman for Carlsberg in Copenhagen said today (5 February) the brewer is awaiting a decision from the Vietnamese government. He added: "We are crossing our fingers that we will be selected as the strategic partner."

Carlsberg entered Vietnam in 1993 with the acquisition of a 60% stake in South East Asia Brewery, based in the north of the country. The brewer also holds a 50% stake in Hue Brewery, which is based in central Vietnam. Through its investments in the two brewers, Carlsberg enjoys around 10% of the Vietnamese beer market.

Habeco has a market share of around 18% and dominates the northern part of the country, including the country's capital, Hanoi.

Around 15.2m hectolitres of beer are sold in Vietnam each year and consumption is growing at about 8% a year.