Vietnam telecom giant to be privatized

Thanh Nien News

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The government has approved a plan to spin off MobiFone from the state-run Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group and privatize it, a move that is expected to boost competition in the telecom market.
Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Bac Son said at a press conference Tuesday that his ministry would oversee MobiFone's “equitization.”
VNPT, which owns MobiFone and another major operator VinaPhone and together with the military-owned Viettel holds over 95 percent of the market, would be restructured in the meanwhile, he said.
Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon (Saigon Times) Online newspaper quoted his deputy, Le Nam Thang, as saying that the privatization would also bring much benefit to MobiFone.
Besides being able to raise funds for capital expenditure and business expansion, the company would also be forced to strengthen its management under shareholder pressure, he said.
MobiFone's improvement would cause pressure on VinaPhone and Viettel, forcing them to remain competitive, Vo Tri Thanh, deputy chief of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said at a meeting held recently to discuss restructuring of the telecom market.
An unnamed Viettel executive agreed, telling the newspaper that the privatization of MobiFone would boost the telecom market and benefit the economy, businesses, and consumers.
Nguyen Trung Chinh, director general of CMC Joint-stock Company, an Internet service provider, said the plan is “a good sign” for the market.
If the three biggest telcos continue to be state owned, private businesses like CMC would have no room to develop, he said.
When one of them becomes private, the telecom market would become competitive, he said.

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