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Vietnam Party chief orders clarification of trade deputy minister’s assets

Vietnam Party chief orders clarification of trade deputy minister’s assets

Saturday, February 25, 2017, 15:01 GMT+7

Vietnamese Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong has urged competent authorities to seek transparency on the origin of personal assets owned by a deputy minister of industry and trade.

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam has ordered clarification of recent articles regarding the assets of Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa at local bulb maker Dien Quang Lamp (DQC).  

The Vietnamese leader has tasked several agencies with the investigation, including the Central Inspection Commission and Central Committee of Internal Affairs under the Party Central Committee, along with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Ministry of Industry and Trade.

He also called on competent authorities to review and adjust current regulations to prevent negativities and corruption during the equitization of state enterprises.

During an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Tran Huu Linh, head of the office of the trade industry, confirmed that agency had asked Deputy Minister Thoa and relevant units to clarify reports on the issue.

The ministry has so collected statements and submitted the result of its probing to the Party and the central government, Linh said.

Holder of 34 percent of shares

A probe by Tuoi Tre revealed that Thoa became the chairwoman of the management board and general director of DQC prior to her appointment to the role of deputy minister on May 12, 2010.

Prior to the appointment, as of December 2009, Thoa owned about 858,000 shares at the company. That number skyrocketed to nearly 1.16 million after her appointment the following year.

By November 30, 2016, Thoa held a total of 1.68 million shares in the firm, accounting for 4.91 percent of its capital.

Her family members, including two daughters, her younger brother, and her mother are also hold a significant portion of DQC’s shares. The family alone accounts for 34 percent of the  shares, worth approximately VND668 billion ($29.3 million).

According to an official from the State Securities Commission of Vietnam, in order to clarify the deputy minister’s assets, her entire working history at the firm should be reviewed, especially during the business’s equitization phase.

The trade ministry and the Department of Corporate Finance under the Ministry of Finance were in charge of managing the firm during its equitization, the official continued.

He suggested a thorough inspection of the shares owned by Thoa and her family to identify any abnormal or illegal actions.

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