Embattled seafood firm in southern Vietnam on recovery path

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A seafood company in southern Vietnam that had been mired in debts of over VND1.27 trillion (US$61.4 million) and faced bankruptcy earlier this year, has been turned around by the Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank which took over its running.

Binh An Seafood JSC (Bianfishco), based in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, has resumed operations at all three of its plants, and paid all of its debts of some VND261 billion ($12.5 million) to aquaculture farmers, news website VnExpress reported Thursday.

It signed 40 contracts in the last two months to export to the US. It hopes to increase next year's output by 2.5 times and achieve exports of $90 million.

The firm's new CEO, Nguyen Tat Thang, said around 100 tons of raw tra fish (pangasius) are now processed every day.

Thang took over from Tran Van Tri in November. Tri had taken over as general director from his wife Pham Thi Dieu Hien who left for medical treatment in the US after the company's troubles came to light earlier this year.

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Bianfishco sold some assets in April to pay part of its debt to farmers and banks. 

In June SHB, which owns 78 percent of Bianfishco after taking over the troubled Hanoi-based lender Habubank, persuaded Can Tho authorities to accept its plan to restructure the company.

It bought the debts the company owed other banks.

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