Vinalines Won't Get Special Treatment

By MarEx 2014-08-24 16:55:00

The Vietnamese Government will not make any preferential policies to support the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) during its restructuring plan, reports Viet Nam News.

Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said that unlike the support extended to the shipbuilding group Vinashin, there would be no policy support for Vinalines which would instead have to pay its debts itself.

The minister has asked Vinalines to negotiate with banks and credit institutions responsibly when solving its debt problem.

The issue was discussed at a meeting where Vinalines shared its development plan and exchanged ideas with representatives from the State Bank of Viet Nam and 22 other credit institutions and commercial banks that share the debt with it.
A Vinalines representative said that faced with a VND11 trillion (US$523.8 million) debt, it would not be able to repay the banks on time. Therefore, Vinalines proposed methods that would convert the loan into contributions of capital at the group's companies and resolve the loan through the Debt and Asset Trading Corporation (DATC).

However, the banks and credit institutions were concerned about regulations that prohibit investment in other sectors and complicated procedures associated with guaranteed assets.

The Vinalines representative said the government holds a 75 per cent share in sea ports, and this is hindering debt restructuring. A number of banks said they will convert loans into contributions of capital in sea ports if the state reduces its stake to 51 per cent or below.

A number of debt owners have reportedly said that they cannot wait for Vinalines to repay its debts, so they have begun negotiating with DATC. As a first step, the two sides have reached a basic agreement. However, DATC does not have the capital to cover all the debts.
Vinalines has been focusing on shipping, port management and maritime services and logistics, with shipping bringing in the majority of its revenue.