State-owned enterprises continued to venture outside their main business scopes in the first eight months of the year with a combined investment of VND22.59 trillion (US$1.08 billion), news website VnExpress reported.
At least 21 state companies expanded their business to non-core sectors, including securities, real estate and insurance, VnExpress said, citing a new report by a Party unit overseeing the SOE sector.
State oil group PetroVietnam topped the list with a non-core investment of VND6.69 trillion, or 3.76 percent of its registered capital, followed by the Vietnam Rubber Group with around VND3.7 trillion, according to the report.
Party officials said the expansion beyond their main business functions allowed some state companies to increase their earnings. However, some others ventured into risky businesses even though they had difficulties finding funds for their main activities.
State utility Electricity of Vietnam, despite claiming losses, invested VND2.1 trillion outside the power sector. VnExpress said the group was ordered by the government in June to narrow its non-core investment to certain sectors only, including real estate and infrastructure development.
Vietnam plans to halve the amount of capital that state-owned enterprises can use to invest in non-core activities. The current ratio is 30 percent.