VietNamNet Bridge – Investors, both foreign and Vietnamese, have expressed their willingness to obtain concessions to exploit highways, the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) has confirmed.
VEC’s general director Mai Tuan Anh said the investors have asked for concessions for highway exploitation rights after the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said it would ‘sell some highways to get money to build new highways’.
Bitexco and Sovico are the two Vietnamese names Anh mentioned in an interview to a local newspaper.
Established in 1985 as a textile firm, Bitexco is better known in Vietnam as a big real estate development group. Since 2000, Bitexco has developed various high-profile projects in Hanoi and HCM City.
Its best known project is Bitexco Financial Tower, a skyscraper in HCM City. With 68 floors and three basements, the building has a height of 262.5 meters (861 ft), making it the 124th tallest building in the world.
Meanwhile, Sovico is a private conglomerate which has investment projects in many different business fields, from finance, real estate, transport and energy.
In the real estate sector, Sovico Holdings has bought Furama Resort in Da Nang City, poured money into Ho Guom Hotel in Hanoi and developed apartment projects in HCM City.
Sovico is better known as the biggest shareholder of Vietjet Air, the only private air carrier in Vietnam, which has surprised the public with new aircraft procurement deals worth billions of dollars.
Regarding foreign investors, Anh said VEC received representatives from the US, Japan and France. These included the Vinci Group from France which officially asked for concessions to exploit three highway projects.
VEC has set up three companies in charge of exploiting three highways, namely Noi Bai-Lao Cai, Cau Gie-Ninh Binh in the north, and HCM City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay in the south.
Selling shares of the three highway exploitation companies is a solution being discussed by VEC and the transport ministry.
“If investors accept to take over all the stakes, VEC will sell all,” Anh said. “The State will not hold controlling stakes in the companies.”
Analysts say Anh’s statement could make the highways more attractive to investors.
In many cases, investors have remained indifferent to the state’s call for investment because the proportion of stakes the state offered were too small. Investors did not have the right to operate projects as they wanted.
Some investors feared that they may have to face legal problems in the deals, because the transport projects were built with preferential loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
However, Anh of VEC has reassured the public that the funders themselves want Vietnam to offer concessions to private investors so that they can quickly recover investment capital.
Đăng ký: VietNam News