Illustrative image (Source: ndh.vn)
   
Hanoi (VNA) - In the next round of equitisation, State capital must be sold faster, at higher value, and the enterprises’ corporate governance must further improve, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has said.

Hue was speaking at a meeting on equitisation and the restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Hanoi early this week.

Though 96.5 percent of the SOEs have been equitised so far, only 8 percent of State capital has been sold.

Therefore, up to 92 percent of State capital remains unequitised, meaning that the country need to do more to attract private investment capital in industries and sectors that the Government does not  need to hold stakes in, Hue said.

“The responsibility of individuals and organisations involved in the equitisation processes must be determined. Leaders and representatives of state capital in SOEs who deliberately violate regulations, perform poorly and delay equitisation must be punished strictly,” he said.

Equitisation must be done both urgently and strictly because though not many SOEs need to be equitised, the State capital waiting for equitisation remains very high, Hue said.

In the first quarter of 2017, nine SOEs with a combined book value of 71.8 billion VND (3.14 million USD) were equitised, helping the State gain 72.8 billion VND.

Le Manh Ha, Deputy Chairman of the Government Office and Deputy Head of the Steering Board for SOE Renovation and Development, said that as per the Prime Minister’s decision, in the 2016-20 period, the country has to equitise 137 SOEs belonging mostly to four ministries, located in 32 cities and provinces, and from four economic sectors.

As per the approved plan, the SOEs have to submit their restructuring and equitising plans every year to the Prime Minister for approval in the first quarter itself. However, only two ministries, two cities and provinces, and two economic sectors have met the deadline.

Ha said the delay has made it difficult for the Government to assess and boost the equitisation process.

Representatives from ministries and sectors attributed the delay to the fact that the SOEs that have to be equitised are large-sized with capital of trillions of VND, such as the Vietnam National Coffee Corporation, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, PetroVietnam, Electricity of Vietnam, Vietnam Rubber Group, Vinafood 1 and 2.  

Le Minh Chuan, Chairman of the Vietnam Natural Coal and Mineral Industries Group (TKV), said that finding strategic investors for SOE equitisation was very tough as the amount of State capital that needed to be equitised was huge.

TKV has so far equitised 61 of its 80 subsidiaries, and divested from non-core business, gaining more than 2 trillion VND.

Many issues are still to be resolved, according to Chuan, so the parent company will complete its pricing appraisal only in 2019.

Another reason for the delay is that concerned ministries and agencies are waiting for the Government to complete the revised Decree 59/2015/ND-CP on converting SOEs into joint stock companies to ease equitised firms into land value appraisals.

Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Vinafood 1 and the Vietnam National Coffee Corporation would complete their corporate value appraisals in the third and fourth quarter of this year, respectively. However, Tuan admitted that the companies are waiting for the decree.-VNA