A total of 186 State-owned enterprises (SOEs) had been equitised by the end of May, which means another 246 SOEs should complete the process by the end of this year in order to meet the set plan, it was announced at a press conference on June 5.

Dang Quyet Tien, Deputy Director of the Corporate Finance Agency under the Finance Ministry, said progress was slow and remained a challenge for the Government.

He emphasized that although the privatisation of SOEs must adhere to the Government's timeline, the quality of the work must be high to ensure the firms are financially healthy.

Government agencies would sort out SOEs ready for Intial Public Offerings (IPO) from those that were not, Tien said.

"Only those that meet the financial standards will be able to hold their IPOs, or they will be transformed into joint-stock companies", he said.

More specifically, those that are transformed into joint-stock companies will have to plan for IPO within 12 months, he said, adding that those joint-stock companies will have to declare themselves bankrupt or be sold if they fail to make IPO plans.

According to the Finance Ministry representative, the leaders of companies and industries will be made more accountable for the equitisation progress.

If the companies continue to delay their equitisation, the directors will be removed, Tien said.

He admitted he is uncertain if all the transformations could be completed by the end of this year, but promised that the Government would speed up the work.

The Finance Ministry reported that by the end of the first quarter, State-owned corporations and groups had divested 8.2 trillion VND (379.6 million USD) from non-core business operation.

Some19.5 trillion more VND (902.7 million USD) need to be divested in the remaining months of this year, including 12 trillion VND (555 million USD) that were invested in banking and real-estate sector.-VNA