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Vietnam's private companies strengthen presence in Top 500 list

More private firms have made it onto an annual list of Vietnam's largest companies, although state enterprises continue to dominate the top 10.

Oil and gas group PetroVietnam, once again, topped this year's list of 500 largest companies, also known as the VNR500.

Despite its claims of losses, fuel distributor Petrolimex ranked second, followed by the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, Electricity of Vietnam and gold producer SJC.

Other major state companies which made up the rest of the top 10 include telecom giant Viettel, coal miner Vinacomin and the Vietnam Bank for Agiculture and Rural Development.

While state enterprise sector accounted for 41.6 percent of the top 500, the number of private companies on the list continued to rise this year. Private companies represented 37.4 percent of the companies on the list, compared to 31.2 percent last year and 24 percent in 2008.

The FDI sector accounted for 21 percent of the list. However, foreign companies ranked first in terms of efficiency, with an average return-on-assets ratio of 9 percent, much higher than the 2.7 percent in the state sector and 2.5 percent among private companies.

All of the companies in the first 30 positions on the list had revenues of more than US$1 billion. Their average revenue was $3.2 billion, up from last year's $2.7 billion.

The VNR500 has been announced at the end of the year since 2007. The list is published by local rating company Vietnam Report JSC and news website VietNamNet.