Privatization of airport corporation needed: minister

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The Ministry of Transport is seeking the government’s approval to turn the state-owned Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) into a joint-stock company, Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper reported.

Transport Minister Dinh La Thang proposed in a note sent to PM Nguyen Tan Dung that he allows the partial privatization of the ACV, which manages Vietnam’s 22 civil airports. The government would still hold more than 75 percent of its chartered capital after that.

Thang said the privatization is necessary for ACV to mobilize more funds for key projects, especially the planned Long Thanh International Airport and the project to expand the Noi Bai International Airport.

The Long Thanh airport project has been approved by the prime minister and will need approval from the National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature, before construction can begin.

According to the ACV, in the first phase of the project (2014-2020), an investment of around US$5.6 billion is needed, of which 53 percent will come from the State and the rest from the private sector.

Therefore, the privatization of ACV is crucial to the project’s funding, Thang has said.

He said the privatization will also help ACV’s subsidiaries to do business more effectively.

ACV was established early 2012 by merging the northern, central and southern airport corporations.

By late 2013, ACV’s total assets were valued at VND30.5 trillion ($1.44 billion), an increase of more than VND1 trillion ($47.4 million) from 2012.

Its pre-tax profit of 2013 is estimated at VND1.35 trillion ($64 million).

ACV employs more than 8,400 people.

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