Vinashin makes initial restructuring progress

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State-owned shipbuilder Vinashin, which was on on the verge of bankruptcy last year, has made initial achievements in its restructuring process, a conference in Hanoi heard Thursday.

The shipping group achieved a turnover of over VND10.3 trillion (US$529 million) last year, with exports of $278 million, the steering committee on restructuring told the conference.

The restructuring of Vinashin, which had accumulated debts totaling VND86 trillion (US$4.4 billion) as of June last year, started in August with the establishment of the committee.

The group has completed an overhaul of its management and its personnel system, the committee said, adding that it is currently completing plans to transfer and withdraw its capital from several units.

In the meantime, some of its member companies, which were handed over to Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) have also resumed production.

All workers, for example, have come back to work at the Dung Quat Shipyard in the central province of Quang Ngai, the committee said.

However the shipbuilder still faced huge difficulties, the committee warned.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, chief of the committee, said that they aimed to make the group decrease losses this year, reach break even point next year, and start making profits in 2013.

The Ministry of Finance and the State Bank, meanwhile, have directed Vinashin to discuss restructuring its debt repayment with its creditors.

The Vietnamese government wants Vinashin to earn profits and pay off debts on its own, Hung said, stressing that the government would not make any budget allocation for the purpose.

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