The Binh An Fishery Joint Stock Company on March 7 held a meeting with the media to inform of their plans to reimburse farmers and clear all their debts.
The Company is considering selling its properties to enable it to clear all back debts, said a company spokesperson at the press meeting, which was held by permission of the Department of Communication and Information in Can Tho City .
"Many people said that my wife was trying to dodge debt payments. Such talk is damaging the reputation of my family and the company," said Tran Van Tri, acting director-general of the company, who had been appointed by Pham Thi Dieu Hien, Chairwoman of the Council of Shareholders of the Binh An Fishery Company to substitute for his wife.
Tri had just been appointed as the acting director-general to stand in place of his wife, Pham Thi Dieu Hien, who has flown to Singapore for cancer treatment, and accused of taking with her some VND1 trillion (US$20,000).
However Tri swore that it was only rumors and the fact remains that his wife has gone abroad for cancer treatment. He tried to calm down the company’s partners by saying that all debts would be cleared very soon.
Until now, the Binh An Company owes local famers about VND264 billion and is trying to partially pay some farmers by the end of this month.
However Tri attributed the many difficulties they faced to objective causes such as the economic crisis, hike in prices of raw materials, and the banks strict regulations against loans.
Financial difficulties only arose in the last quarter when many banks withdrew their lending at the same time, he added, even though the company worked well in the first three quarters of last year.
He told the media that more bank lending should be approved by senior officials and Binh An Company is considering selling 80 per cent of its shares to get more financial support.
Tri swore that difficulties are only temporary, “the company has asked workers to stop working temporarily after paying their January wages”.
“Too much information about us and the company showed by the press has raised concerns among our workers, thus discouraging our partners from signing more deals and banks from more lending,” Tri said.
If possible, the company will mortgage its seafood processing plant for an immediate loan to pay debts of farmers.
He also sent his apologies to the farmers and partners in the company and promised to pay back debts along with interest as soon as possible.
Regarding the rumor of misappropriating VND1.5 trillion, Tri said he would have to check information before making any further comments.