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Ministries ask for permission to change SOE divestment plans

Update: February, 28/2020 - 09:24


Inside a VEAM factory. The Ministry of Industry and Trade wants to remain a major shareholder in VEAM instead of transferring the State capital control to SCIC. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Ministries are working to convince Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to amend divestment plans at some large State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed the Prime Minister allow it to remain the major shareholder in two SOEs, namely the Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEAM) and Machines and Industrial Equipment Corporation (MIE).

Those companies are on the list of SOEs which have to divest in 2017-20 in accordance with a Prime Minister’s Decision 1232 issued in 2017.

Under the decision, the MoIT has to sell the entire State stake equal to 88.47 per cent of VEAM’s charter capital and 99.54 per cent of MIE’s charter capital. Neither firm has completed its divestment plan.

The MoIT wants to keep control of VEAM and MIE after 2020 and remove the two companies from the divestment list. The ministry also hopes it will not have to hand over control of the two companies to the State Capital Investment Company (SCIC) as regulated.

However, the ministry has not delivered appropriate explanations as to the reasoning of the proposal.

In response, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has said the divestment plans for the two companies must stay on schedule while the PM will decide whether the MoIT remains the largest shareholder in the two businesses.

The MoIT is also a major shareholder at the Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC (Sabeco). The ministry holds 36 per cent of the brewery company after it sold 53.59 per cent of State capital to ThaiBev for US$5 billion in late 2017.

Sabeco will still be transferred to the SCIC as the MoIT failed to withdraw the remaining State capital from the brewer by December 31, 2019.

Other ministries

Other ministries have also suggested divestment plans should be changed for some large SOEs.

The Ministry of Construction has proposed its holding in the ceramic and tile producer Viglacera remain at 38.58 per cent by the end of 2020.

The ministry has sold 18.04 per cent of the State capital it controls in Viglacera.

The construction ministry also wants to keep its stake in the Vietnam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Investment Corporation (IDICO) at 36 per cent until the end of the year. It also wants to remain the major shareholder in IDICO instead of giving it up to the SCIC.

The Ministry of Health expects it will be allowed to sell only 29 per cent of the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Corporation (Vinapharm) instead of 65 per cent as regulated. — VNS

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