Around 700 state firms left as Vietnam nears final stage of privatization

By Ha Phuong   December 7, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
Officials say the privatization target has generally been achieved.

The number of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Vietnam has fallen sharply from 6,000 in 2001 to around 700, according to data released at a conference in Hanoi on Tuesday.

The process of equitization, as privatization is officially known in the country, has seen most small-sized and inefficient state enterprises getting wiped out, officials said.

Around 96 percent of the government's equitization plan has been completed, they said.

But Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that, despite the sharp decline in the number of SOEs, state ownership in former state companies remained high.

Many SOEs have actually been acquired by others SOEs, said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Others said there were setbacks in Vietnam's privatization push because some senior managers resisted change.

Foreign investors are keeping their eyes on the final wave of privatization and they are especially keen on strong performers such as dairy giant Vinamilk and top brewers Sabeco and Habeco.

These are among a group of 10 companies that the government is all set to divest from, a move that could bring back as much as $7 billion.

As of December 6, foreign investors owned 48 percent of Vinamilk and for Sabeco, the ratio was 9 percent.

Phuc on Tuesday called for a faster and more transparent reform process for the remaining SOEs to avoid causing losses to the state.

Related news:

> Vietnam to rake in $7 billion from massive divestment push

> Vinamilk aims for $3 billion in annual revenue for 2017

go to top