Cement company wants to sell $60 mln office tower to shore up finances

By Nguyen Ha   June 9, 2019 | 09:40 pm PT
Cement company wants to sell $60 mln office tower to shore up finances
One of VICEM's cement processing factories located in Hai Phong. Photo by VICEM.
The state-owned Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation wants to sell a long-delayed office tower it is building in Hanoi as it seeks to privatize.

VICEM has requested permission from the Ministry of Construction to sell the VND1.43 trillion ($61.4 million) building to recover its investment without spelling out if it plans to sell any other asset.

The 8,500 square meter building will have 31 floors and was meant to become the firm’s headquarters and have office space for lease. It was estimated to cost VND2.74 trillion ($118 million).

Construction began in May 2011 and was expected to take three years. But work stopped after the shell was built, with VICEM estimating it has so far spent VND1.43 trillion. A recent report by the company said that since 2016 it has been petitioning the ministry to find buyers.

It said it has hired the Vietnam Valuation and Financial Consultancy Company to estimate the building’s value and help sell it.

VICEM is one of the ministry’s key businesses, but has struggled in recent years with many subsidiaries consistently making losses and losing senior personnel as a result of their wrongdoing.

Last year it reported revenues of VND1.69 trillion ($73 million) and after-tax profit of VND1.05 trillion ($45 million). Its subsidiaries Ha Long Cement and Song Thao Cement had respective accumulated losses of VND3.58 trillion ($154 million) and VND410 billion ($17.6 million) by the end of 2018.

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