Transfer of struggling EVN Telecom to Viettel underway

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The transfer of EVN Telecom, a unit of state utility Electricity of Vietnam, to Viettel has started and will be completed by the end of March, news website VnExpress reported.

EVN Telecom posted revenues of nearly VND2.43 trillion (US$115.5 million) in 2011, equal to just 62.7 percent of the annual target, Electricity of Vietnam General Director Pham Le Thanh was quoted in the report as saying.

Thanh said EVN Telecom struggled in 2011 amid the tough competition in the market that led to a sharp deline in phone service rates. The number of new customers grew very slowly in 2011, up 500,000 from 2010, he said.

The transfer of the company to miliary-run telecom giant Viettel was approved by the government last month. Thanh said the process will be completed this quarter.

EVN Telecom, whose numbers start with 096, entered the market seven years ago as the sixth mobile network in the country. The struggling company still owes huge debts to many of its partners, including Viettel and the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, VnExpress reported.


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Its parent company, Electricity of Vietnam, plans to restructure its business and divest from non-core sectors.

In sharp contrast to EVN Telecom, Viettel posted a pre-tax profit of nearly $1 billion last year, an increase of 23 percent over 2010.

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