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Vietnamese Government Falling Behind Equitization Plan - Vietnam Briefing News

Dec. 8 – Vietnam's Ministry of Finance (MOF) says that it has fallen behind its equitization plan; selling less than a third of its estimates.

According to Thanh Nien News, for the first 11 months of the year the government was only able to sell shares in 73 companies in contrast to its goal of 262.

The MOF said on its website that the goal has been hampered by economic difficulties and the volatile stock market.

The country's markets have taken a beating with stocks dropping on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange and making it one of worst performers in the region. The exports, tourism and services industry have also suffered from the global financial crisis.

“In the current economic and financial context, companies have found no driver to sell shares,” Le Dang Doanh, a senior research fellow at Vietnam’s Institute of Development Studies told Thanh Nien News.

The government has already downgraded its economic growth target for this year to 6.7 percent from the previous forecast of 9 percent. This week, the central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate for the fourth time in the past six weeks from 11 percent to 10 percent to aid borrowing and encourage lending.

The government has a set a goal of selling shares in 948 companies from today until 2010.