The Finance Ministry is drafting a circular regulating the sale of the entire or more than 50 percent of on-auction shares of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to a single investor.

The move is aimed at hastening and enhancing the privatisation and competitiveness of SOEs.

The shares will not be allowed to be transferred within the first five years to ensure that the buyer will invest in developing the firm for the long term.

Until recently, the percentage of SOE shares that was put on sale was modest and did not encourage many investors to buy them. Many recent auctions of SOE shares failed to attract buyers because the state kept the majority of stakes, an investor said.

The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) has been practising the system of selling shares for years. The draft circular, expected to be completed within this month, will help speed up the privatisation and capital withdrawals of more than 200 SOEs this year.

Stressing that the auction of shares must be carried out transparently, the SCIC's General Director Lai Van Dao noted that selling the entire or a major part of shares will be easier and their selling prices will also be higher.

According to Dang Quyet Tien, Deputy Director of the Ministry's Department of Corporate Management, it is important to select an investor who has adequate capacities and resources for managing a company.

Several experts have observed that investors who buy the entire shares must be different from strategic investors, as regulated in Decree 59/2011/ND-CP.-VNA