PetroVietnam is seeking a merger between its financial arm PetroVietnam Finance Corp (PVFC) and a bank in a bid to facilitate its divestment of capital from the financial company to realise the restructuring scheme.

At a regular meeting in Hanoi on October 8, PetroVietnam’s Chairman Phung Dinh Thuc said PetroVietnam would not be able to divest capital from PVFC if the company continued to operate under the current business model as this model will soon no longer exist in the group.

“Therefore, in order to withdraw capital from this company, PVFC will have to merger with a bank to perform their banking functions,” he said, adding the group was actively seeking a prestigious bank to make a deal.

The merger would be made under special supervision from the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Finance, Thuc said, expressing hopes to reduce the holding in this company to 20 percent by 2015 and then gradually to zero percent later.

PetroVietnam currently owns over 70 percent of PVFC’s charter capital.

Thuc said the group’s restructuring scheme has been basically approved by the Government and confirmed its divestment plan would be carried out under a roadmap which ensures legality and state capital based on market conditions but is still ready to remove companies that continue to suffer prolonged losses.

In early September, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged PetroVietnam to restructure and divest capital from many subsidiaries and affiliate companies.

The national oil and gas group currently has 29 subsidiary and 206 affiliate companies and it expects to reduce these numbers to 24 subsidiaries and 126 affiliates.

In the meeting, the group also reported that its consolidated pre-tax profit had risen to 43.5 trillion VND (2.07billion USD) in the first three quarters of this year, completing 74 percent of its yearly plan. This represents an increase of 8 percent year on year.

Crude output in the first nine months also exceeded goals, reaching 19.33 million metric tones, up 10.4 percent year on year.

Oil sales from January-September reached more than 11 billion USD, surpassing the yearly target by 11 percent while revenue from oil and gas services climbed to 164.2 trillion VND (7.8 billion USD), accounting for 29 percent of the group’s total revenue.-VNA