Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has told Vietnam National Shipping Lines to divest entirely from nine seaports and companies and retain 20 per cent in Hai Phong and Saigon seaport.
At the same time, Vinalines’ stakes in the Saigon Port Company Limited and the Hai Phong Port Company Limited will be slashed to 20 per cent of the registered capital of each of these companies.Under his instructions, Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) must sell all its shares in the ports of Khuyen Luong, Da Nang, Vinalines – Dinh Vu, and Cam Ranh, in addition to Nam Can, Nghe Tinh Can Tho, and two companies, High Technology Transport Limited Company and Cai Lan Port Joint Stock Company.
The prime minister had earlier agreed to let Vinalines hold 50 per cent to 65 per cent of the Sai Gon Port’s charter capital and 65 per cent to 75 per cent of Hai Phong Port’s capital, but this had made the two firms less attractive to investors.
HCM City-based Sai Gon Port has a charter capital of VND2.16 trillion (US$96 million) with a total asset value of VND3.95 trillion ($176 million). It operates important ports in the Southern part of Viet Nam including, Nha Rong Khanh Hoi, Tan Thuan I, Tan Thuan II and Phu My Steel Port. The port accounts for 10.5 per cent of the overall throughput in the South
Hai Phong Port, in the northern city of Hai Phong, was established in 1857, and is one of the biggest in the northern region. It claims 28.7 per cent of revenues in the north. The port earned revenues of VND1.252 trillion ($55.3 million) and after-tax profit of VND265.8 billion ($11.7 million) in the first nine months of 2015.
Local media reported that on December 30, Vinalines transferred nearly 7 million shares in Hai Phong Port, or a 2.12 per cent state, to one of the country’s biggest lenders, VietinBank. The deal, if calculated by the market value of the date was worth VND147-billion (US$6.45 million). With the sale, Vinalines’ ownership in the port of Hai Phong was cut to 92.56 per cent. In September 2015, it also transferred 9.07 per cent stake in Saigon Port.
PM Dung also urged the Ministry of Transport to make a review and plan for the port system across the country by 2050.
MoT has to direct Vinalines to have a good divestment plan in place and find capable investors to develop the ports sustainably under current regulations to promote the local socio-economic development as well as the defence and security.