The Vietnamese government’s plans to privatise a number of state-owned companies, including Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation, by the end of 2020 have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. DealStreetAsia reports that the country had set a target to sell stakes in 128 state-owned firms between 2017 and the end of 2020 but so far only 37 companies have completed the process. The government has partly attributed the slow progress to the COVID-19 pandemic, which It says has ‘impacted all socio-economic aspects, market demand and the stock market’. The report adds that VNPT, which owns fixed and mobile operator VNPT-Vinaphone, and cellco MobiFone have yet to be evaluated for a potential initial public offering (IPO).
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the two companies have been earmarked for privatisation (also known locally as ‘equitisation’) for a number of years, and have both undergone restructuring as part of government efforts to reorganise state-owned companies to improve competition and efficiency. MobiFone was a wholly owned subsidiary of VNPT until July 2014, at which date the cellco was spun off and put under the management of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). In November 2018 the management of both MobiFone and VNPT was transferred from the MIC to the Committee for the Management of State Capital (CMSC), ahead of their upcoming privatisation.