One year ago, the government released a document instructing SCIC to withdraw all the state’s capital in 10 big conglomerates such as Vinamilk, FPT, Binh Minh Plastics and Bao Minh Insurance. However, the divestment process has been going very slowly.
Vinamilk, the nation’s leading dairy producer, has recently announced the lifting of the foreign ownership ratio ceiling to 100 percent. This means that foreign investors can buy Vinamilk stakes in unlimited amounts. However, in Vinamilk, the state still holds 45.06 percent of stakes and it is still unclear when the state would transfer the shares.
In cases of Sabeco and Habeco, the two Vietnamese largest breweries put under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), the state still holds 82-90 percent of stakes there though they were equitized eight years ago. Meanwhile, it is still unclear if the breweries would be transferred to SCIC or the State would continue the disinvestment.
|While investors have become impatient about the state capital disinvestment process, the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) and governing bodies have remained quiet.|
VAFI proposed MOIT to ask the government to allow the sale of 100 percent of state’s capital in Sabeco and Habeco at auctions at the stock exchange.
Citing the Prime Minister’s Decision released in October 2015 about the divestment in 10 profitable businesses, VAFI affirmed that the sale of Sabeco and Habeco is unavoidable, and that MOIT needs to proceed with the divestment moves.
VAFI also pointed out that Sabeco and Habeco have been seeking to delay the listing of their shares on the bourse as stipulated by law.
Dang Quyet Tien, deputy head of the Enterprises’ Finance Department, in an interview with Tuoi Tre, said he personally thinks that the state only needs to hold 36 percent of stakes in Sabeco instead of 90 percent.
“With 36 percent of stakes, the State will still have the right to make decisions on the enterprise’s important business plans,” Tien said.
“Meanwhile, if the state does not go quickly with the divestment plans, enterprises will lose their opportunities for development,” Tien said.
As for Vinamilk, the official said this is the ‘reserve’ for the state. “I believe that if Vinamilk’s shares are pu up for sale, investors will rush to buy them. Therefore, it is necessary to think carefully about when would be the right time to sell Vinamilk shares,” Tien said.
Regarding VietinBank, BIDV and Vietcombank, the nation’s leading commercial banks, the state may keep holding the current ownership ratio (over 51 percent) in the immediate time.