SOE equitisation creates opportunities for foreign investors

July 05, 2019 | 08:00
The Vietnamese government highly appreciates the role of foreign investors and welcomes those from Europe in general and England in particular to participate in the equitisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
soe equitisation creates opportunities for foreign investors
Vietnam's SOE equitisation drive will present more than a 100 lucrative targets to foreign investors in the next year and a half

In his speech at the July 4 Vietnam Investment Conference in London, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung discussed the role of foreign investors, particularly those from England, in the equitisation and divestment process in SOEs in Vietnam.

Minister Dung said that 140 enterprises will be equitised in 2017-2020, including 37 already equitised in in 2017-2018. This leaves ample opportunities in the more than 100 SOEs scheduled for 2019-2020.

Dang Quyet Tien, director of the Corporate Finance Department, held a presentation on the progress of SOE equitisation and the potentials for investors, saying that the large number of equitised SOEs and divestments will be an opportunity for investors.

Accordingly, in the upcoming time, more corporations and large enterprises will be equitised or continue to divest such as Vietnam National Coal-Minerals Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin); Power Generation Corporation 2 of EVN, Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation (Vicem), Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), Mobifone, and Agribank, among others.

In the discussion, Nguyen Duc Chi, chairman of the Board of Members of State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), outlined the process and several solutions to continue divesting from SOEs.

However, at the seminar on SOE restructuring in March 2018, Dang Quyet Tien said that the implementation of state divestment has yet to reach the plan set by ministries.

One of the reasons is that SOEs have a large scale and manage many state assets, especially land funds.

SOE equitisation is currently slow but remains on schedule. Explaining this situation, Ho Sy Hung, vice chairman of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC), once said that the slow pace of the equitisation process was partly due to new regulations in 2018 that stipulated a stricter calculation method to determine the value of businesses, including reviewing and determining land prices in accordance with Decree No.126/2017/ND-CP on conversion from SOEs and single-member LLCs with 100 per cent charter capital invested by SOEs into JSCs.

Around the equitisation and divestment of SOEs, Duong Quang Thanh, chairman of the Board of Members of EVN, said that EVN has made several attempts at full divestment without success.

Nguyen Tuyet Duong, a member of Agribank, said that due to the peculiarities of the banking and finance sector, Agribank still has difficulties in determining its financial costs and in valuing enterprises.

According to Pham Hong Son, vice chairman of the State Securities Commission (SSC), more than 87 per cent of enterprises have been equitised but have yet to register to trade and list on the Vietnamese stock exchange.

Strengthening supervision and accountability, even representatives of the state capital at certain corporations will be reviewed and handled in compliance with regulations to create a healthy investment environment for foreign investors.

By Bui Thu

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