Minister slams Vinalines for tardy restructuring process

Posted on March 28, 2013 Written by

Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has criticised General Director of Vinalines Nguyen Canh Viet for being absent from a meeting on restructuring Ministry of Transport companies, including Vinalines.

Transport Minister Dinh La Thang The minister frankly outlined the problems facing Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) at the meeting.Transport Minister Dinh La Thang The minister frankly outlined the problems facing Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) at the meeting.

After some Vinalines members said that the firm’s general director had gone to Cambodia, Minister Thang said, “Going to Cambodia could help him to save Vinalines?”

The minister said the pace of Vinalines’ restructuring was too slow, and he urged greater speed. He also wanted to confirm whether Vinalines could finish the government’s restructuring project or not.

Vinalines Deputy General Director Le Anh Son said, “Without the restructuring, Vinalines would face high risk of bankruptcy. Currently, the group is insolvent and the banks are not in favour of extending the debt payment schedule for the corporation.”

Mr. Son said Vinalines was negotiating with banks to facilitate the restructuring process.

Minister Thang noted that, “Vinalines’ restructuring comprises of many steps, but the most important thing is financial resources. It is essential to clearly report which firms should be maintained, liquidated or merged. In necessary cases, the minister and deputy minister will work with banks on debt-related issues.”

The minister said that in reality, Vinalines had failed to repay its debts, and it wasn’t the banks who had wanted to extend the debt payment. He attributed the slow restructuring to lax management.

Vinalines has 216 companies which need to be restructured, 19 of which have negotiated with a debt trading firm for privatisation. However, to date, Vinalines has not yet finished the privatisation of any affiliates.

For Vinashin, General Director Vu Anh Tuan said no improvement had been seen in the group’s restructuring.

Vinashin has lost nearly all its equity and does not have capital for its business and production activities, yet it still faces outstanding loans.

Minister Thang has urged Vinashin to sell any planned ships for debt payment from now to June 30.

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