Embattled Vinalines repays $64.2m worth of debts

Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015 10:55

Vinalines has repaid more than $165 million worth of debts so far. — Photo ndh.vn

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Vietnam National Shipping Lines, or Vinalines, repaid more than VND1.4 trillion (US$64.2 million) worth of debts in the second quarter of this year.

Its executives told a meeting held on July 20 to review first-half operations that this figure took the total repayments since late 2013 to more than VND3.6 trillion ($165 million).

Deputy general director Nguyen Huu Long said the corporation had remaining debts of over VND7.6 trillion ($349 million), and its main tools remained selling them to credit institutions and converting some of the debts into equity.

It has speeded up negotiations with major lenders like Vietinbank, ACB and VPBank and achieved some success, he said, adding that the debts would reduce remarkably by year end.

Vinalines had been saddled with debts of around VND11 trillion, or $504 million, to 24 lenders, nearly half of them foreign.

VietinBank led the list with VND2.23 trillion ($100.9 million) followed by VDB, Asian Commercial Bank, OceanBank, and Vietcombank.

Natixix, a French corporate and investment bank, was the biggest foreign creditor with VND1 trillion ($45.8 million).

Vinalines had last year asked the Government to instruct the Debt and Asset Trading Corporation (DATC) to buy its debts from banks and credit institutions.

Last October DATC bought Vinalines's VND394 billion ($18.1 million) debts from Vietcombank and also finished negotiating a price with HSBC Vietnam for a debt of VND63 billion ($2.9 million).

Speaking about pulling out of non-core businesses, Vinalines executives told the review conference that it had sold its stakes in 11 businesses for VND1.2 trillion ($55 million) in the first half.

The figure took the number of businesses from which Vinalines pulled out to 32 and its investments in them had been worth nearly VND1.79 trillion ($82 million).

Besides the financial restructure, Vinalines' businesses too fared well in the first half, especially its port operations. Ports like Hai Phong, Da Nang and Sai Gon reported profits of hundreds of billions of dong.

Revenues topped VND9.3 trillion ($426 million), or equivalent to 99 per cent of its income in the same period last year and profits were worth VND124 billion ($5.7 million).

Vinalines is now focused on three areas -- shipping, port management and maritime services and logistics. Shipping services account for the largest share of revenue. — VNS

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