Foreign operations by state firms continue to make losses

By Anh Minh   October 19, 2021 | 05:11 pm PT
Foreign operations by state firms continue to make losses
An oil exploitation project of Petrovietnam in Algeria. Photo courtesy of Petrovietnam
Overseas investments by state-owned enterprises made losses of US$1.17 billion last year, $120 million more than in 2019, according to a report the government submitted to the National Assembly.

The report on the operations and finance of SOEs said 28 companies had invested more than $6.7 billion overseas as of last year.

Oil and gas group Petrovietnam (PVN) accounted for nearly $4 billion, followed by the military-run telecom giant Viettel with more than $1.4 billion and Vietnam Rubber Corporation ($926 million).

The investments were mainly in oil and gas, telecommunications, rubber farming and processing, mining, and agriculture in 26 countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Myanmar, and Peru.

Some $3.2 billion of the investments had been repatriated, including profits of $1.4 billion as of last year.

Revenues from 131 foreign projects last year topped $5.54 billion, down 21 percent from 2019.

Twenty eight of them suffered losses of $237 million, up $81 million, and 61 earned profits of nearly $427 million, down by a fourth.

"Outward investment activities by SOEs did not meet expectations in 2020," the report noted, blaming it on enterprises’ management, risk governance, market forecasting, and investment policies besides the impact of Covid-19.

Projects in oil and gas exploration, rubber plantation and processing and telecom continue to face potential risks, it said.

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