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Politburo appoints new PetroVietnam Chairman

Released at: 19:43, 25/12/2017

Politburo appoints new PetroVietnam Chairman

Mr Tran Sy Thanh (Photo from 24h.com.vn)

Mr. Tran Sy Thanh, Member of the Central Committee and Party Chief in northern Lang Son province, appointed on December 24.

by Quang Huy

The Politburo, the Communist Party of Vietnam’s decision-making body, appointed a provincial Party Chief as the new Chairman of the State-owned oil giant PetroVietnam on December 24.

Mr. Tran Sy Thanh, Member of the Central Committee and Party Chief in northern Lang Son province, will take the reins at the embattled corporation. He will also serve as Deputy Head of the Central Economic Commission following the arrest of his predecessor, Dinh La Thang, earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Member of the Central Committee and Deputy Head of the Party’s Central Propaganda Department, Ms. Lam Thi Phuong Thanh, has been appointed as the new Party Chief of Lang Son for the 2015-2020 term.

Mr. Tran Sy Thanh, 46, has held many positions in diverse institutions within Vietnam’s political apparatus but never at an oil and gas company. His previous positions include Chief of Staff at the State Treasury, Deputy Director of the State Treasury, Party Chief of Bac Giang province, and Deputy Chairman of the Central Inspection Commission.

The position of PetroVietnam Chairman has been vacant since the Party transferred then-chairman Nguyen Quoc Khanh to the Ministry of Industry and Trade in March without appointing a successor. During this time, the oil giant was headed by CEO Mr. Nguyen Vu Truong Son.

Mr. Khanh has since been arrested as part of Vietnam’s sweeping corruption crackdown at PetroVietnam and in the banking sector, together with more than 20 leaders and former leaders at the oil and gas group who have also been investigated. The biggest name so far is Mr. Thang, who was also a former PetroVietnam Chairman and was sacked from his post as Party Chief in Ho Chi Minh City in May.

Most recently, former CEO Phung Dinh Thuc was charged over allegations of violating financial regulations on several loss-making projects and over the promotion of two executives who have been caught up in serious legal turmoil: Trinh Xuan Thanh, ex-Chairman of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation, who reportedly turned himself in last summer after fleeing to Europe and is set to stand trial next month for causing losses of around $147 million at the construction company, and Nguyen Xuan Son, who rose from Deputy CEO to Chairman of PetroVietnam in 2014, who was sentenced to death last September for a multi-million-dollar graft case at OceanBank, in which the oil giant held a 20 per cent stake.

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