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Tasco to increase healthcare investment

Released at: 08:32, 04/07/2016

Tasco to increase healthcare investment

Photo: Duc Anh

Company to invest in beds at hospital around Vietnam.

by Ngoc Chi

Tasco, one of the biggest businesses to apply the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model in Vietnam, will boost its existing investment in the healthcare sector this year, in addition to real estate and traffic infrastructure, which are its core business fields.

It will invest in at least 200 beds per hospital, but did not disclose the number of hospitals. The move was approved at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on June 24.

Real estate investment under the BOT model will remain the primary investment field for Tasco this year, Ms. Vu Thu Trang, a representative from Tasco’s PR department, told VET. “The company will also focus on investing in the healthcare sector by cooperating with public hospitals under the government’s Resolution No. 93 on socializing healthcare,” she added.

At the meeting, Tasco targeted revenue of VND2.4 trillion ($107 million) and after-tax profit of VND380 billion ($17.1 million) in 2016.

In real estate, it will continue to implement the subsequent phases of its Foresa Villa project and a housing project for staff of the Central Party Committee and the "People" newspaper in Hanoi's South Tu Liem district, the Phap Van South Building project in Hanoi's Hoang Mai district, and the high-end apartment project at 48 Tran Duy Hung Street in Hanoi.

In the field of transport infrastructure, Tasco will continue to implement BOT projects on National Highway No. 10 in Hai Phong city and in Dong Hung town, Thai Binh province.

Regarding electronic toll collection (ETC), Tasco plans to finish the first phase, with investment capital of VND950 billion ($42.2 million). In this phase Tasco will build all necessary toll booths along National Highway No. 1 and in the central highlands along National Highway No. 14, from 2015 to 2016.

In the second phase it will build toll booths on other expressways and national highways throughout the country, from 2017 to 2018. More than 100 will be built in total.

Addressing the shareholders meeting, CEO Hoang Ha Phuong said that in order to implement the 2016 business plan, besides its own capital the company must mobilize other sources from financial institutions and investors.

The meeting also approved the payment of a 12 per cent cash dividend, of which 7 per cent was paid in 2015 and the remaining 5 per cent will be paid after the annual shareholders meeting. The total dividend payment is VND174 billion ($7.73 million).

In 2015, Tasco’s consolidated revenue stood at over VND2.26 trillion ($100.4 million) and after-tax profit VND160.2 billion ($7.12 million), representing 97.92 per cent and 110.46 per cent, respectively, of targets.

In its revenue of VND597 billion ($26.5 million) in the first quarter of this year, revenue from toll operations contributed VND99 billion ($4.45 million) - much higher than revenue from other fields such as sales and services, with VND75 billion ($3.37 million), and construction, with VND14.7 billion ($662,162).

Tasco sparked controversy in May when it proposed increasing BOT fees. The Ministry of Transport rejected the proposal, however, and asked the company to maintain the existing fees until the end of 2016.

In early June, Chairman Pham Quang Dung was voted in as a National Assembly (NA) delegate for the 2016-2021 term. This was also controversial, as public opinion is very much against the increasing number of toll booths on Vietnam's roads.

He was one of only two independent NA candidates. During his election campaign in the northern province of Nam Dinh, his hometown, Mr. Dung promised to create more jobs, contribute to welfare development programs, and cut poverty. He also urged the NA to encourage domestic and foreign businesses to support technical and social infrastructure and social security.

Mr. Dung served for five years in the military and worked at a local irrigation logistics office for 15 years before heading into business 20 years ago.

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