The purchase of a 49% stake in EVN Telecom by the Corporation for Financing and Promoting Technology (FPT) has been approved by Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, as part of a plan to privatise the state-owned operator. Viet Nam News reports that the state will retain a 50.6% stake in CDMA operator EVN Telecom, a subsidiary of utility firm Electricity of Vietnam, while a 0.4% stake will be sold to EVN Telecom’s employees. The company’s registered capital is valued at about VND2.96 trillion (USD150 million), according to a government directive. EVN Telecom will negotiate the price directly with FPT and its telecoms subsidiary FPT Telecom, which provides fixed telephony and internet services in the country. EVN and FPT hope that the cooperation will help the former improve its position in the telecoms sector, whilst opening up opportunities for FPT to enter the wireless sector.
The move forms part of a government plan to privatise its telecom holdings by selling stakes of up to 49% of each as part of its commitment to membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Three mobile operators – MobiFone, Vinaphone and Viettel – are all believed to be working towards privatisation, after delaying stake sales during the global financial crisis.