Vietnam PM approves MobiFone privatization

Dylan Bushell-Embling
04 Apr 2014

Vietnam's prime minister has approved a proposal by state-owned VNPT to separate mobile unit MobiFone into a separate, privatized entity.

Under the plan, MobiFone will be spun off into MobiFone Telecom Corporatation and sold to investors, VietnamNet Bridge reported.

MobiFone will assume liabilities worth around 1.6 trillion dong ($75.2 million) from VNPT.

A restructuring of VNPT has been a long time coming. The company had originally planned to merge MobiFone and fellow mobile unit Vinaphone into a single entity, to reply with new laws limiting cross-ownership of telecom operators, but the plan was rejected by the telecom ministry in April last year.

In September, the telecom ministry announced that VNPT planned to spin off one of its two mobile units that month, but the spin-off process was delayed.

Separating and privatizing MobiFone is expected to stimulate competition in a market currently dominated by state-owned operators – MobiFone, Vinaphone and fellow publicly-owned operator Viettel are the nation's three biggest mobile operators.

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