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Vinalines evaluation almost done

Update: October, 09/2014 - 09:40
"The Government has allowed Vinalines to sell 90 per cent of its ships,". — Photo cafef.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport has almost completed its evaluation of Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) so that it can create an equitisation plan to submit to the Government.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said on Tuesday that the equitisation plan would detail the action that needed to be taken by each Vinaline enterprise, such as disbandment or bankruptcy.

"The Government has allowed Vinalines to sell 90 per cent of its ships," Truong said.

He said this money would be used to pay for employees with five disbanded companies and pay for the debts of foreign partners and banks.

"Ensuring the rights of the workers is the priority," he said.

Vinalines will consider paying workers in three ways - cash up front, through social insurance as they continue to work, or paying them retirement pensions.

"All their rights will be ensured," Truong said.

Port equitisation

In a related move, the Ministry of Transport has asked for Government permission to reduce Vinalines' holding of charter capital in sea ports to speed up the equitisation process.

Previously, no sea port under the management of Vinalines was allowed to sell more than five per cent of its total shares.

However, under the latest move by the ministry, Vinalines' four key sea ports - Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Da Nang and Sai Gon - will be allowed to reduce their holdings from 75 to 51 per cent.

The ministry has also proposed that Vinalines be allowed to reduce its holdings in another three sea ports from 75 per cent to 45 per cent. The ports are in Can Tho, Nghe Tinh and Cam Ranh.

Deputy Minister of Transport Truong said that the reductions would enable investors to buy the shares.

"When the State holding of shares is too high, investors are hesitant because they find it hard to intervene in port decisions. They feel this puts them at higher risk," he said.

Truong said that under the ministry's proposal, the State's holding of charter capital in big sea ports would remain at 51 per cent, while shares in small ports could be all be sold.

Vinalines' general director, Le Anh Son, was quoted by Thoi bao Kinh doanh (Business Times) as saying that once the proposal was approved by the Prime Minister, the attractiveness of the shares would be significantly improved.

He said that Vinalines hopes to get more than VND2 trillion (US$95.2 million) from the sales.

However, in May, the initial public offerings in Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Nha Trang sea ports were not snapped up as expected. — VNS

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