Vietnam SOEs fail to go private as shares remain in public sector

Thanh Nien News

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Garco 10, one of state-owned companies that have been privatized / FILE PHOTO
Shares in Vietnamese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that were ordered to be privatized by the government were mainly sold to other state companies, or could not be sold at all, an official announced during a Friday meeting of the government's steering committee on business reform and development in the central province of Binh Dinh.
Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon (Saigon Times Online) quoted Deputy Chief Doan Hung Vien of the government committee as saying that only 6.4 percent of over VND4.16 trillion (US$196.47 million) in SOE capital has been sold to private companies.
The rest was transferred or sold to other state companies, the State Capital Investment Corporation, or labor unions and employees, Vien announced during a meeting on economic restructuring.
After the reshuffle, the state continues to own 51 percent or more of the involved SOEs because the businesses could not sell as many shares as they'd expected to, Vien said.
With the state continuing at helm, the SOEs failed to reform their management and attract development funds, he said.
Vien called the results the privatization and restructuring effort, “very low” compared to the government’s plan. He further reported that only 25 businesses had been privatized in 2011 and 2012, and another 74 last year.
A government directive ordered 432 SOEs to go private between now and 2015; 15 of them have been privatized over the first quarter of this year, Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon reported.

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