May 30, 2019 / 11:01

Vinalines buys back 75% stake in Quy Nhon port in an unprecedented deal

Vinalines previously faced criticism from the public following the sale of majority stake in Quy Nhon port at price significantly lower than its market value during the 2013 – 2015 period.

State-run Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has paid VND415 billion (US$17.7 million) to buy back a 75.01% stake in Quy Nhon Port JSC from Hop Thanh Investment and Minerals Company. 
 
Quy Nhon port.
Quy Nhon port.
Tran Tuan Hai, head of Vinalines’ Development Strategy and Communications Division, confirmed the move with Zing.vn on May 29. 

Vinalines previously faced criticism from the public following the sale of majority stake in Quy Nhon port, Vietnam’s national focal port in South central of Vietnam, to Hop Thanh Company at VND440 billion (US$18.77 million), significantly lower than its market value during the 2013 – 2015 period. 

Hai revealed Vinalines would hold a shareholders meeting for Quy Nhon Port JSC in June in a bid to rearrange the firm's operation. 

Last September, the Government Inspectorate (GI) concluded that the controversial deal violated the law as the Ministry of Transport (MoT) authorized the sale without the approval of the prime minister. 

Following the inspection result, the GI requested Vinalines to recover the 75% stake sold to Hop Thanh, while the institutions and individuals related to the deal, including those from the MoT, the Government Office, Binh Dinh People’s Committee and consultants, are subject to disciplinary measures. 

Quy Nhon port – the gate to the East Sea of South Central of Vietnam, Central Highland and countries in the Mekong Delta, has a storage network covering an area of 20,960 square meters and 48,000 square meters of open storage for containers. 

Former Secretary of Binh Dinh Party Committee To Tu Thanh said the valuation process of Quy Nhon port was inaccurate, saying the sale of two cranes and the brand name of Quy Nhon port alone could raise over VND400 billion (US$17.06 million), not to mention other assets.