The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has urged some State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to hasten their equitisation and divestment plans, as progress remains slow and might fail to meet their deadlines this year.
The MoF reported that authorities approved equitisation plans for only five SOEs in the first five months of this year, while the Government set to equitise at least 85 SOEs this year.
The Government also approved moves to divest State capital from up to 181 SOEs this year, however, only one has so far completed the work, the ministry reported.
As the equitisations might fail to meet their targets, the MoF has directed the SOEs to speed up their equitisations and divestments, to complete the work in 2018. SOEs which fail to meet their deadlines must promptly report difficulties and hindrances to the Prime Minister for consideration and settlement.
The SOEs have also been directed to urgently finalise their land use plans in accordance with legal regulations, and submit them to competent State bodies for approval.
Representatives of the State capital at joint stock companies also have to request that companies rapidly register and become listed on the stock markets, as regulations call for.
The Government considers 2018 a key year in the country’s restructuring plan of SOEs, targeting to equitise at least 85 SOEs in the year, 64 of which being large-size companies.
According to Dang Quyet Tien, director general of the Ministry of Finance’s Corporate Finance Department, the number of SOEs earmarked for equitisation and divestment in 2018 account for over 50 per cent and 46 per cent of the total number planned for 2017-2020, respectively.
Although the process has been determined as a key policy towards SOEs and for the whole economy in general, it has encountered many obstacles, notably the influence of interest groups on the equitisation process, and difficulties in the search for consultants and enterprise evaluations, especially large ones with complex structures and operations in various industries.
One of the largest obstacles to the equitisation is SOE evaluation. According to the State Audit Office of Vietnam, legal regulations concerning enterprise evaluation have many flaws, in terms of land use rights, brand values, the selection of evaluation firms and determining the market value of SOEs’ assets.
Therefore, it is necessary to use auditing tools to accurately appraise the value of SOEs and deal with financial problems before announcing their values, especially large SOEs operating in special sectors. — VNS