Vietnam Electricity plans $1 bln bonds overseas: report

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State utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) plans to issue bonds overseas worth US$1 billion, a local news website said without giving details or a time frame.

The Hanoi-based group is awaiting Finance Ministry approval, the news website quoted Duong Quang Thanh, EVN deputy general director, as saying late on Monday.

Two other Vietnamese conglomerates, coal and mineral firm Vinacomin and oil and gas group PetroVietnam, cancelled plans to issue bonds overseas worth between $500 million and $1 billion last year due to unfavorable conditions.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last month became the third major rating agency, after Fitch and Moody's, to downgrade Vietnam, potentially raising the cost of capital for the country and its companies.

The near bankruptcy of debt-ladden state shipbuilder Vinashin, and its default on a $600 million international loan in late December, have exacerbated the problem.

EVN suffered from a loss of VND8 trillion ($410.4 million) last year due to low water levels in hydro-power reservoirs, which forced them to buy electricity at higher prices from fuel-run plants, Tuoi Tre newspaper said on Monday.

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