Ministry sets up steering panel for MobiFone equitisation

Thursday, Oct 30, 2014 18:26

Customers register mobile services at a MobiFone transaction office. A steering committee for the equitisation of MobiFone has been established. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) ─ The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has established a steering committee for the equitisation of mobile network operator MobiFone.

According to VnEconomy online, Information and Communications Minister Nguyen Bac Son is the chairman and Deputy Information and Communications Minister Le Nam Thang is the vice chairman of the committee.

Officials of MIC and the Ministry of Finance, as well as corporate innovation authorities and MobiFone General Director Le Nam Tra, are committee members.

The MIC plans to submit the MobiFone equitisation plan to the Government by the end of this year, and if this is approved, it will implement the plan next year.

MobiFone has been detached from the State-run Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and placed under the management of the MIC since July following Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's decision to restructure the VNPT. The company has a charter capital of VND12.6 trillion (US$600 million).

The HCM City Securities Company then valued Mobifone at about $3.4 billion and projected this to rise to more than $4 billion if the operator's revenues and profits continued to increase after the separation.

In an interview with Vietnamnet online late last week, Thang said Mobifone was expected to be upgraded to the level of a corporation before it would be privatised.

A master plan for the development of the domestic telecommunications sector until 2020, which the Prime Minister has adopted, states that Viet Nam must have three or four strong telecommunications companies with specialised operations.

The plan aims to promote domestic competition and the entry of local players in the international telecommunications market. Currently, the two major telecommunications groups are VNPT and Viettel.

Thang said Mobifone's size and business results would enable it to become a corporation, but it has to develop other business fields instead of merely focusing on telecommunications services to be able to compete with other giaints in the future. The MIC will soon issue a telecommunications infrastructure license for the company.

At a partners' meeting in HCM City on October 28, Mobifone officials said the company would boost co-operation with value-added service providers within the next two years. They called on partners to prioritise the development of mobile services such as machine-to-machine, as well as e-commerce, advertisements, entertainment and enterprise solutions.

According to Thang, foreign investors can own a maximum stake of 49 per cent in MobiFone when it is equitised, and significant investor interest is facilitating the company's reorganisation process.

Viettel is holding 40.5 per cent of the domestic mobile network market and has succeeded in operations abroad. "VNPT and Mobifone will certainly have to go international in the future to benefit the Vietnamese telecommunications sector more," he said.

MobiFone is one of a few enterprises that has generated the largest corporate tax revenues in Viet Nam for many years and has achieved about 80 per cent of its annual business targets in the first nine months of 2014, Thang added. — VNS

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