Vietnam to sell stake in national airline, other state companies this year

HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam plans to sell stakes in a slew of state-owned companies this year including its national airline and auto manufacturer.

State media reported that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week ordered stock market listings for 11 companies currently under the control of the transport ministry.

Vietnam’s economic reform agenda which includes making bloated state companies more productive has stuttered in recent years amid slowing growth and opposition within the ruling Communist Party.

Dung’s ambitious plans for 2014 suggest economic reformers have renewed momentum.

Among the companies slated for partial sale are Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam Automobile Industry Corp. and Waterway Transportation Corp.

Hundreds of companies are listed on Vietnam’s stock market but most are too small to attract foreign investors who are also deterred by inadequate regulation.