February 5, 2018 / 11:30 AM / a year ago

Vietnam sets up $220 bln committee to boost privatisation

HANOI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Vietnam said on Monday it has set up a committee to oversee around 5,000 trillion dong ($220 billion) worth of government assets in companies as part of an effort to boost privatisation.

The communist state has stepped up its planned divestment from hundreds of state-owned companies to boost their performance and relax a tight state budget. Progress has been slow but has picked up since 2016 when the current administration took office.

The Committee for State Capital Management at Enterprises would be more comprehensive than the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), Vietnam’s main state investment arm that holds shares in firms like Vinamilk, the country’s biggest listed firm.

Many state shares, especially in state-owned enterprises, are under the management of different ministries, partly causing complications and delays in selling stakes.

Sabeco and Habeco, Vietnam’s biggest beer firms, are under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, while telecoms firm MobiFone, which is also earmarked for privatisation, is under the information ministry.

Detailed guidelines on the committee’s function and mission are expected to be released in the second quarter of this year, vice investment minister Nguyen The Phuong told reporters on Friday. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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