Vinacomin plans $500 million bond sale for projects

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Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Group, the state-owned coal producer known a Vinacomin, plans to sell as much as $500 million of bonds overseas this year to fund mining and energy projects.

"We need a lot of funds for our coal, mineral mining and energy projects," Deputy Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Van Hai said in a telephone interview from Hanoi Monday. "After getting government approval for the bond sale we will seek to hire an international adviser to help us work on a detailed plan for the offering," he said.

Vinacomin started construction at a 650,000 metric-ton alumina plant in the central Dak Nong province last month, according to a Feb. 23 statement posted on the government's Web site. Vietnam has the world's third-largest bauxite reserves after Guinea and Australia, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report published in July.

Vinacomin has $215 million in loans and bonds outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Standard & Poor's assigned it a BB rating last month, the risk assessor's second- highest speculative grade.

The company may also borrow from international banks for its projects, Hai said Monday, without elaborating.

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