At a press conference of the Ministry of Transport last week, Deputy Minister Nguyen Hong Truong said 90 percent of the ships that had anchored at overseas ports for a long time of the Vinasin Ocean Shipping Company or Vinashinlines were sold.Seven ships to be sold to pay crewsVinashinlines to go bankruptVinashinlines does not have money to bring sailors home, says official
Six out of seven vessels of Vinashinlines were sold. Photo: Marinetraffic. The ships that were sold already include New Phoenix, Sea Eagle, Lotus, Cai Lan 4, New Horizon and Diamond Way.
Truong said the prices of these six boats are 10 percent higher than the assessment made by the Ministry of Finance. Particularly, the Hoang Son 28 ship has not been sold since it is now on lease and the sale faces some matters of administrative procedures.
Truong added that the sale of the seven ships of Vinashiplines would be completed this year.
The seven ships of Vinashinlines have a total tonnage of more than 210,000 tons, accounting for three percent of the national fleet capacity. All of them were anchored abroad for a very long time, with one of them being overseas since 2007. Stuck with these ships were hundreds of sailors who had to live in extremely poor conditions.
Regarding the crews on these ships, Truong said they received wages and welfares and have returned home. For the sailors on the unsold ship, the Ministry of Communications has instructed the Vietnam Shipping Lines Corporation (Vinalines) to send regular living expenses to them.
Related to the restructuring of Vinalines, Deputy Minister Truong said this task is underway towards downsizing the corporation to be consistent with its financial capacity and the market demand.
Specifically, the corporation will focus on three major fields of business, including shipping, ports and maritime services. At the same time, its number of subsidiaries will be reduced from 73 to 37 and some of them will be equitized.
The official said that Vinalines has basically divested from the businesses that do not operate in the three above-mentioned major areas of business and it would begin paying debt from 2014.
At the meeting, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Su – Chairman of the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), reported that Vinashin recently issued bonds domestically with an approximate value of VND12 trillion (equivalent to 30 percent of its debt). The foreign debt of nearly $200 million was restructured completely through the entire buying of bonds with a value of below 30 percent.
“For the remaining amount of VND17 trillion, we are striving to issue bonds in the fourth quarter this year or early 2014 to complete the restructuring of the debt,” Su said.
For $600 million debt of international credit institutions and banks, Su said Vinashin has reached an agreement with all creditors. In October, Vinashin will officially issue international bonds and finish the restructuring of this debt.