Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Monday requested that the Ministry of Finance release the business results of State-run corporations and economic groups.

At the second session of the 13th National Assembly, which started on October 20, Dung called on all State-owned enterprises to focus on their core businesses while planning to divest from non-core businesses.

The Government also asked relevant bodies and ministries to set up plans on restructuring SOEs that have suffered losses and rearrange organisational structures and corporate governance in wholly State-invested companies.

In addition, the Government promised to create an equal playing field across all sectors, putting all enterprises into a competitive business environment while also vowing to publicise the business results of SOEs.

At a seminar held by the Academy of Finance under the MoF in Ha Noi on Nov.15, Nguyen Ngoc Tuyen, director of Institute for Finance and Economics, said that while SOEs were given priority in areas such as natural resources, land and capital, they operated less effectively than other sectors.

According to the Central Institute for Economic Management, as of 2011, State-run corporations and economic groups possessed total assets worth 1,500 trillion VND (71.77 billion USD) with a total equity on 572 trillion VND(27.37 billion USD). Of this, SOEs operating in processing industries, electricity production and distribution, gas, water, transport, logistics, telecoms, mining and banking and finance hold about 80 percent of the total equity.

A survey conducted by the General Statistics Office showed that SOEs' returns on invested capital during 2007-09 were quite low, ranging from 3.5 to 4.3 percent compared to those of foreign invested enterprises at 9.1 to 11.7 percent.

Tuyen said unhealthy monopolies had also been established by several major SOEs such as Petrolimex (accounting for 60 percent of the petrol market shares), Electricity of Viet Nam (accounting for all power distribution) and the Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holdings Corporation Ltd. Such monopolies had distorted the domestic market while hurting the country and consumers' benefits and restraining the competitiveness.

He added that during the past years, many SOEs had poured too much money into non-core businesses such as securities, banking, insurance and real estate, causing huge losses.

Representative Pham Tien Dat from the Academy of Banking suggested that SOE restructuring plans should be carried out based on State support, while certain vital sectors such as electricity, petroleum exploitation and posts and telecoms should remain as Government monopolies.

At the seminar, participants said SOEs' restructuring schemes should be carried out during the 2012-15 period./.