State-owned enterprises had invested a total of VND21.8 trillion (US$1.03 billion) in non-core areas by the end of last year, with investment in the banking sector accounting for almost half the figure.
A report the Ministry of Finance recently sent to National Assembly members said investment in banking had risen to VND10.1 trillion from VND8.7 trillion in 2009.
Many had also ventured into securities, insurance, and real estate.
Investment in property had gone up from VND3 trillion to VND5.3 trillion.
"State-owned groups and corporations have begun to gradually divest from those sectors. However, due to the global and local economic downturn, the divestment has not met the targets set by the government."
The ministry said it would propose new regulations later this year on the use of public funds.