Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) needs at least five years to divest its capital investment in non-core businesses, deputy general director Phan Hoang Duc has said.

Currently, the VNPT has proposed a plan to the Government to withdraw investment capital in the amount of 2 trillion VND (95 million USD) from non-core businesses deemed to be inefficient and costly.

Duc told Dau Tu newspaper that the group will maintain its stake in effective non-core businesses, especially those in the financial and real estate sectors such as Maritime Bank and Lien Viet Bank.

It will be easy to restructure the company's holdings in the real estate market, said Duc, since the VNPT has not yet invested much capital in the sector. He added that the group is considering implementing a 53 million USD real estate project in central Nghe An province.

According to statistics, the VNPT has invested in 85 joint-stock and liability-limited companies in the fields of posts and telecommunications, advertising, multimedia, finance, banking, design and tourism. In 2010, the total revenue generated by these companies reached 7.3 trillion VND 347 million USD), 13.5 percent higher than the previous year.

In August, the VNPT started to divest its investment capital in Maritime Bank by auctioning the buying rights of 25 million shares. The shares failed to sell, a fact that Duc attributed to the concurrent downturn in the stock market.

VNPT is now the second biggest shareholder of Maritime Bank, possessing more than 62 million shares or 12.53 percent of the charter capital.

Recently, the VNPT withdrew capital from VMG Communications Joint Stock Company to downsize its holding rate from 36 to 29 percent. It also reduced its holding rate from 14.4 percent to 11 percent in Saigon Postel JSC.

With the present state of the economy, the VNPT could not hope to sell its stakes at desirable prices. This was the reason for the group's request, asking for more time to restructure its businesses than the one year allotted by the Government, said Duc. /.