Hai Phong Port, the biggest port in the country's northern part, is expected to have an initial public offering (IPO) in May.

Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) Vu Khac Tu was quoted by Transport newspaper as saying that Vinalines' members' council decided to approve the value of the Hai Phong Port as a preparatory step towards equitisation.

Accordingly, Hai Phong Port is valued at 4.32 trillion VND (205.7 million USD), as much as 201 percent of its book value. The state's holdings in the port are estimated at 3.269 trillion VND (155.6 million USD).

According to Tu, Hai Phong Port's equitisation plan was scheduled to be approved by mid-April. It then plans to go for an IPO and will seek strategic partners within a month and a half after that. Effective July, Hai Phong Port will operate under the joint stock corporation model, he added.

Vu Anh Minh from the Ministry of Transport said that 25 percent of the State's holdings in Hai Phong Port will be put on sale.

Last April, the Prime Minister pushed for privatisation of the country's major ports, including Hai Phong, Sai Gon, Quang Ninh, and Da Nang ports, with a directive that 25 percent of the State's holdings in these ports should be made available to the public through IPO's and it must be implemented within the year 2014. This is aimed to diversify investment resources for the development of ports.-VNA