Vietnam SOEs big on bank loans, losses: finance ministry

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State-owned enterprises borrowed more than VND415 trillion (US$20 billion) from banks as of September last year, accounting for 17 percent of Vietnam's total outstanding loans, according to the Finance Ministry.

Loans to 12 economic groups, including oil and gas giant PetroVietnam, state utility Electricity of Vietnam and coal miner Vinacomin, made up more than half of the figure, VnExpress reported, citing a new Finance Ministry plan to restructure the SOE sector.

The ministry said many state enterprises have operated inefficently and have been facing serious losses for long periods of time. Out of 85 major SOEs, 30 had a debt-to-equity ratio higher than 3.0, with seven companies recording extremely high debt ratios above 10.0.

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Despite the large debts, the performance of most SOEs has been questionable as even the largest ones have posted huge losses. According to the ministry, losses at SOEs amounted to VND26.1 trillion last year and, on average, their losses were 12 times higher than those of the non-state sector.

Electricity of Vietnam, shipbuilder Vinashin and Vietnam Post Corporations had the largest losses of the group.

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