State-owned Vietnam Steel Corporation will reorganise as a joint stock company next month, Chairman Mai Van Tinh announced on Sept. 20, vowing no more delays to its equitisation process.

"We've been behind schedule for the past nine months, so the first fiscal year under the joint stock model will begin on October 1 of this year," said Tinh.

The State currently holds nearly 94 percent of the corporation's charter capital of 6.8 trillion VND (328 million USD). As the company equitises, 39.1 million shares, representing a 5.76-per-cent stake, will be sold to investors. Another 29 percent will be offered to foreign strategic investors, leaving the State with a controlling interest of 65 percent.

"We will finish finding foreign strategic partners in the fourth quarter of next year," said General Director Le Phu Hung, noting that Vietnam Steel would be offering the maximum interest to foreigners allowed by law.

Vietnam Steel has already received feelers from potential Russian investors such as Novolipetsk Steel Corporation and Evraz Group SA, Hung said.

"Next month, we will learn more about the interest of some major Japanese steelmakers, including Nipon Steel, JSE, Tokyo Steel, Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi and Marubeni-Itochu," he added.

Upon equitising, Vietnam Steel expects to increase its charter capital to 8 trillion VND (386.5 million USD). Expecting earnings this year of 14 trillion VND (676.3 million USD), it targets to pay a dividend of 7 percent on this year's profits and dividends of 9-11 percent over the next two years./.