Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has asked ministries to promptly issue policies on the reform and restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOE) as scheduled while rolling out more drastic measures to complete the SOE equitisation plan for 2014-15.

The Deputy PM, who is also Head of the Steering Committee for Enterprise Renovation and Development, made the request while chairing a conference in Hanoi on June 25 to review the progress of SOE restructuring in the first 6 months of this year.

He requested the Ministry of Planning and Investment submit a draft decision to revise Decision 37/2014/QD-TTg on criteria and classification of SOEs to the Prime Minister at an early date.

Meanwhile, ministries, localities and State-owned groups and corporations should finish the approval of restructuring plans for 44 firms whose enterprise values have been announced while completing the evaluation of the values of 127 other enterprises that are in the process of evaluation.

The Deputy PM said stagnation in the issuance of mechanisms and policies for SOE organisation reform and restructuring is delaying the restructuring process, adding that many arising problems, especially those related to equitisation, divestment and share auctions are not addressed quickly.

According to the Steering Committee for Enterprise Renovation and Development, in the first 6 months of this year, relevant ministries submitted only three of 10 planned draft decrees and decisions, reaching only 37 percent of the target.

As of June 23, as many as 289 enterprises subject to equitisation had set up their own steering committee for restructuring, with 127 now in the process of evaluating their corporate value, 44 already announcing their prices and 61 having completed restructuring.

Additionally, two firms have been sold, one dissolved and one merged, raising the total number of reformed and equitised enterprises this year to 68.

Hanoi had the highest number of restructured enterprises with 19 firms, followed by the Vietnam Coal-Mining Industries Corporation with five companies and the Central Province of Nghe An with four.

Total State capital divested in the first 6 months of this year was 7.52 trillion VND (358 million USD), recouping 11.61 trillion VND (552.8 million USD), equivalent to 1.48 times of book value.

Notably, the military-run Viettel Group divested 2.65 trillion VND (126 million USD) and recouped 3.16 trillion VND (150.4 million USD) while the Vietnam National Shipping Lines recouped 1.25 trillion VND (59 million USD) and the Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group - 783 billion VND (37 million USD).

As of June 17, 46 equitised firms had conducted their initial public offering (IPO) with 557 million shares worth 5.57 trillion VND (265.2 million USD) put on sale. Total shares sold reached 110 million, equivalent to 19.7 percent of the total shares for sale.

At the event, representatives from ministries, localities and enterprises discussed their restructuring difficulties, including complicated finances in large-scale enterprises. They also pointed to unreasonable auction fees through stock exchanges, as well as problems in settling unsolved shares.

They proposed that enterprises be allowed to find investors on their own should no investors register to buy the firms, and to reduce share prices after two unsuccessful auctions.-VNA