70 percent Vietnam firms post Q1 losses: survey

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A new survey finds that up to 70 percent of Vietnamese companies reported losses in the first quarter as the economy expanded only 4 percent, the slowest pace since 2009.

The combined revenue of all the companies was only slightly higher than their expenditures, news website VnEconomy reported, citing findings from the survey by the General Department of Taxation.

According to the department, even though the data was collected from only 256,000 out of the country's 446,000 companies, this group was a highly representative sample with good tax payment track records.

Director Bui Quang Vinh said, however, that tax officials will review the financial results reported by the companies to make sure they did not fake losses to evade taxes. The losses of the surveyed companies amounted to VND40 trillion.

More than 17,700 businesses have stopped operations in the first four months of 2012, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier, and the number could hit 50,000 by the year-end, local media cited Deputy Planning and Investment Minister Cao Viet Sinh as saying last month.

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The figure reached 21,800 as of the end of May, VnEconomy reported, citing statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The economy is forecast to expand 5.5-6.0 percent this year, the government said this week. It targets an economic growth of 6.0-6.5 percent for 2013.

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