Lottery firms in southern Vietnam found with massive non-core investment

TUOI TRE NEWS

Updated : 04/07/2017 15:28 GMT + 7

A scrap collector cycles her trolley past the Mekong – My Tho Hotel, where the Tien Giang lottery firm holds a stake.
Tuoi Tre

All 11 lottery ticket companies in southern Vietnam have collectively channeled nearly VND1,000 billion (US$44.64 million) into sectors outside their main business, the Ministry of Finance’s inspectorate announced.

By the end of 2015, these 11 companies had earmarked more than VND1,078 billion ($48.13 million) for long-term financial investment, though only over VND80.8 billion ($3.61 million) was meant for their core business operations, the finance inspectors said.

The combined non-core investment of these companies amounts to VND997 billion ($44.51 million), according to the inspectors tasked with examining the 2015 consolidated financial reports from the lottery firms.

The finance ministry also noted that plans to increase the registered capital of the 11 companies by a total of VND4,137 billion ($184.69 million) are inappropriate and should therefore be carefully vetted.

The companies had either asked to increase chartered capital more than they should, lacked convincing reasons for needing more capital, or intended to put the extra capital into non-core business ventures, according to inspectors.

The finance ministry asked seven of the lottery companies to pay back a combined VND1,448 billion ($64.64 million) to the state budget for submitting improper capital increase plans, and VND431 billion ($19.24 million) for unpaid taxes and fees.

The ministry inspectorate also demanded that the lottery companies withdraw from their non-core ventures in the near future, though the firms say the divestment process may take some time.

The Tien Giang lottery firm, for instance, has invested a total of VND453 billion ($20.22 million) into different entities operating in the finance, water supply, and tourism sectors and says it can only withdraw from these non-core investments by 2020.

Company director Ly Minh An said the investments were made before Vietnam banned lottery companies from investing outside their core business, adding that the company is speeding up its divestment processes.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Financial Investors, said the nearly VND1 trillion of non-core investments would have been of better used if they had been channeled into education or healthcare.

Hai said the companies should be forced to withdraw from risky sectors, such as banking and finance, as “many provinces are still in need of money for social welfare projects.”

“If the non-core investment withdrawals come with losses, we should also find and sanction the individuals responsible for those investment decisions,” he said.

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This entry was posted in Doanh nghiệp nhà nước - State owned enterprises, Economics - Kinh tế and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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