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Ho Chi Minh City mulls over sidewalk rental plan after 'clearing campaign' ends
Street food vendors occupy the sidewalk along Cong Quynh Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
The municipal Department of Transport is gathering feedback from local experts and citizens on a proposal to rent the city’s sidewalks.
According to the agency, leasing local sidewalks for a fee will contribute to the city’s budget, which will then be used to upgrading streets and other traffic infrastructure.
The deal will also encourage businesses to be more responsible whilst running their operations on footpaths.
According to some, the rental system is a better way to manage the occupancy of promenades and roadways, as well as ensure traffic safety and urban aesthetics.
An official from the finance office under the transport department, said that rental rates would be calculated based on the price of land in each neighborhood.
The approach has received positive feedback from leaders of local authorities, the official added.
According to Le Minh Triet, director of the Management Center of Sai Gon River Tunnel, his agency will produce a report on applying technology to collecting the rental amounts.
Upon collecting community opinions, the proposition will be submitted to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee for approval, and is expected to be implemented later this year.
Assistant Professor Nguyen Trong Hoa, former head of the Ho Chi Minh city Institute for Development Studies, expressed his support for the plan by saying that it would be an effective tool to manage the use of sidewalks.
However, the committee needs to be transparent throughout all phases of the scheme, Hoa said.
According to Dr. Vo Kim Cuong, former deputy chief architect of the southern metropolis, local businesses are already allowed to use a section of footpath to continue their operations.
Occupants also need to be charged a fee as sidewalks are public spaces and should not be freely used for personal purposes, Dr. Cuong said.
Traffic expert Pham Sanh recommended that the collection of rental fees not be undertaken by district or ward-level authorities in order to prevent corruption and other potential negative side-effects.
“The process should be carried out by the city’s financial sector with technical assistance from the Department of Transport,” Sang elaborated.
Meanwhile, local residents are still uncertain about the new proposal following recent efforts by authorities to .
They are concerned that implementing the plan is no different than encouraging the occupancy of public space.
TUOI TRE NEWS
Vietnam to miss 2017 growth target: WB
The World Bank (WB) released its Global Economic Prospects report on June 4, forecasting a global 2017 economic growth rate of 2.7 percent and a Vietnamese growth rate of 6.3 percent, lower than the 6.7 percent goal set by the government.
Workers process metal moulds at the SaiGon Industry Corporation in HCM City
In Vietnam, strong exports are projected to help growth sustain itself at slightly below 6.5 percent this year, according to WB’s report.
For Vietnam and other countries in the Asia Pacific region, commodity import growth remains generally robust. Therefore, solid domestic demand, strong infrastructure spending and FDI-led investment in manufacturing sectors and services will continue to benefit the country.
After a period of financial market volatility in late 2016, global finance conditions have improved in 2017. Although real credit growth generally moderated on tighter regulations and higher inflation, it remained high in Vietnam and China.
The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), however, could potentially withhold significant growth opportunities from Vietnam. Changing trade policies would also affect certain economies in the Asia Pacific region, namely those with sizable exports to developed economies such as Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Thailand.
As manufacturing and trade pick up, market confidence rises, and commodity prices stabilise, advanced economies’ growth will accelerate to 1.9 percent in 2017, which also will benefit developed countries’ trading partners. Meanwhile, emerging markets’ and developing economies’ growth will increase to 4.1 percent this year from 2016 number of 3.5 percent.
“With a fragile but real recovery now underway, countries should seize this moment to undertake institutional and market reforms that can attract private investment to help sustain growth in the long term. Countries must also continue to invest in people and build resilience against overlapping challenges, including climate change, conflict, forced displacement, famine and disease,” said Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President.
In late March, the General Statistics Office of Vietnam announced that the country’s first quarter GDP growth was 5.1 percent from the same period in 2016. This slow growth is attributed to the manufacturing sector’s underperformance. As such, the low percentage of this year’s first quarter means a potential challenge to the National Assembly’s goal of a 6.7 percent GDP growth rate by the end of 2017.
Nonetheless, Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research predicts that with a gradual increase in each quarter’s GDP growth rate, the goal is still attainable.
High-tech, clean agriculture: investment trends for powerful capitalists
Injecting money into agricultural production has become popular among large conglomerates with powerful financial capability. Most of them are targeting organic agriculture projects.
Of the VND4 trillion worth of investments in high-tech agriculture, Vingroup has poured VND300 billion into VinEco Ha Nam in accordance with a closed model, from seedlings, production and harvesting to preservation and processing under advanced technologies from Israel, the Netherlands and Japan.
Vinamilk, the nation’s leading dairy producer, having realized high demand for organic products, has decided to spend VND200 billion to develop a European standard milk cow farm in Lam Dong province.
According to Vinamilk’s CEO Mai Kieu Lien, Vinamilk had to spend many years to find land area suited to farming milk cows in natural conditions.
It was more costly to develop an organic milk cow farm than a normal farm. It is expected that the milk output will be lower, while the number of workers required will be higher and the farm area larger.
NutiFood, a nutrient food manufacturer, has become the strategic partner of Phuoc An Coffee Company in Dak Lak province, moving ahead with the plan to make clean coffee for export.
Vinamit, a dried fruit manufacturer, has also decided to set foot in the organic foot sector. Vinamit’s CEO Nguyen Lam Vien said the company wants to invest in organic agriculture as consumers are buying more products with natural origin.
Vinamit wants to prove that its products are organic products so they can sell them in foreign markets.
In the last few years, many kinds of Vietnamese food products have been refused by import countries because of the high pesticide residue.
Meanwhile, the demand for clean food in the domestic market is very high.
Thai Huong, president of TH Group, also dreams of exporting organic fruits and medicinal herbs to the world market. It produces dairy products, and also grows clean fruits and vegetables.
$132 million has been poured by the group into the project on organic fruits and vegetables in Thai Binh and Lam Dong provinces.
Meanwhile, VND2.830 trillion has been poured into TH Herbals which now grows five kinds medicinal herbs.
Organic agriculture projects are highly promising. Vinamit’s Vien said one kilo of organice rice can be sold for three times higher than the price for normal rice.
Pham Minh Thien, director of Co May, said one kilo of clean mushrooms can be sold for VND140,000.
Thanh Mai, VNN
Vietnam expects new FDI from the US following PM visit
Economists agree that Vietnam needs to take action to grab opportunities from a new wave of investment from the US.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung placed high hopes on Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to the US, affirming that Vietnam has great opportunities to receive new investments.
Dung said new investments from US businesses are in line with Trump’s policies.
Pham Tat Thang, a senior researcher of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, also said he can see opportunities to cooperate.
Trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the US have made big leaps since the normalization of relations.
During Phuc’s visit to the US, contracts worth $17 billion were signed by the businesses of the two countries. This included the $4.7 billion contract signed by Vietnam’s Vietjet Air and CFM International.
Admitting that the US investment in Vietnam remains modest, Thang believes that there would be big changes following Phuc’s visit to the US.
“I strongly believe that the US will make more investment in Vietnam in the time to come,” Thang said, adding that several large projects will be enough to improve the US ranking among the biggest foreign investors in Vietnam.
Thang said there are two sectors that Vietnam wants to attract US investment to – clean agriculture and high technology.
However, Thang said Vietnam needs to change to catch the new investment wave. In agriculture, for example, it cannot maintain small-scale production.
Meanwhile, Bui Ngoc Son from the World Politics Research Institute, said Vietnam’s opportunities have increased following the PM’s visit, but the signs and motivations are still not clear.
He said the 45th US President is known as a pragmatic person who only conducts cooperative activities and exchanges with other countries when these bring benefits to American.
“Vietnam only has advantages in land and a cheap labor force,” Son said.
“In order to attract and retain American investors, Vietnam will have to give specific offers. It is necessary to carry out reforms to create a more favorable investment environment,” he said.
He said that Trump emphasized that he will try to create many more jobs for Americans. Thus, he will think carefully when making outward investments.
Of the total 83 nations and territories investing in Vietnam, South Korea leads with $4.05 billion in investment, followed by Japan and Singapore with $1.85 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively.
Kim Chi, VNN
LienVietPostBank senior official returns after dismissal
Nguyen Duc Huong has been voted to the chairman’s post of LienVietPostBank’s board of directors for the term between 2013 and 2018, after a month’s dismissal as its vice chairman.
LienVietPostBank’s second extraordinary shareholders meeting for 2017 was held on Monday to vote the bank’s senior personnel changes.
The election was part of the senior personnel changes approved at the bank’s second extraordinary shareholders meeting for 2017 held on Monday.
The vote came after the shareholders meeting passed the dismissal of Duong Cong Minh from the board of directors’ chairmanship.
At the meeting, Pham Doan Son was also voted to the post of permanent vice chairman of the board of directors cum director-general of the bank.
Previously on April 26, LienVietPostBank’s first extraordinary shareholders meeting removed Huong from permanent vice chairmanship of the board of directors. At that time, Huong’s dismissal was aimed at making him a candidate for a position at Sacombank’s board of directors; however, he then decided to withdraw officially from the list of Sacombank’s candidates a month later.
After the merger with the Vietnam Post Corporation (VNPost) in July 2011, LienVietPostBank is a joint stock commercial bank with the largest network of more than 10,000 transaction offices at all 63 cities and provinces nationwide.
The bank’s total asset by May 31 reached nearly VND148 trillion (US$6.49 billion). The bank posted a pre-tax profit of nearly VND1.35 trillion last year, and the number for the first quarter this year was more than VND470 billion.
As for Sacombank, the market is waiting for its senior personnel changes. The bank is due to organise its 2017 annual general meeting (AGM) on June 30, after postponing twice the AGM that was scheduled for April 28 and May 26, owing to incomplete preparations for electing the personnel of the board of directors and board of supervisors for the new term between 2017 and 2021.
According to the recently announced resolution of Sacombank’s board of directors and board of supervisors for the term between 2017 and 2021, candidates for the bank’s top positions have gradually been revealed.
In addition to the familiar names who are currently leaders of Sacombank, such as the Chair Kieu Huu Dung, Vice Chair Nguyen Mien Tuan, Nguyen Van Cuu, or Nguyen Xuan Vu, the list of candidates included two names who were closely associated with LienVietPostBank brand Nguyen Duc Huong and Nguyen Thi Bich Hong (candidates for BOD’s independent members), in which Huong is a highly appreciated name.
However, after the withdrawal of LienVietPostBank’s Huong and Hong, Sacombank on Monday said that it would nominate two other candidates as the board of directors’ independent members to meet the deadline for its 2017 AGM in late June.
Hospital director suspended after eight dialysis deaths
The director of the biggest hospital in Hoa Binh Province, where eight patients died after having dialysis last week, has been suspended till investigations into the incident are over.
On Thursday morning, Tran Quang Khanh, director of the province’s health department, announced that Truong Quy Duong, director of Hoa Binh General Hospital, had been suspended for 15 days.
Two other hospital employees, Tran Van Son from the supplies-equipment division, and Do Thi Hiep from the intensive care department, have also been suspended for 15 days to assist the investigation into the largest fatal medical incident in Viet Nam’s history.
The incident took place on May 29, when seven of the 18 patients undergoing dialysis at Hoa Binh hospital displayed symptoms of anaphylactic shock and died soon after. Another patient who was also one of the 18 having dialysis that day, died seven days later because of multiple organ failure from unknown cause, raising the death count to eight.
The other ten kidney patients were rushed to Bach Mai Hospital in Ha Noi and receiving free treatment. They were said to have recovered and were discharged from the hospital on Thursday.
The patients will continue receiving outpatient treatment (periodical dialysis) three times per week at Bach Mai Hospital.
Khanh told the Vietnam News Agency that preliminary investigations indicate that water contamination may have led to the tragedy.
The official cause of death, however, has not been declared, and 11 leading medical experts, who are part of a special council set up by the municipal health department to look into the case, is studying the incident. The council held a closed meeting on Thursday morning.
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the council would announce its conclusion later this week.
The police are also running their own investigation, and visited the hospital on Wednesday. They inspected dialysis procedures and collected medical samples used for 18 dialysis patients on May 29.
SBV confident that bad debt can be dealt with
Low-cost car manufacturers can’t find opportunities in Vietnam
Though demand for low-cost cars in Vietnam is high, low-cost car manufacturers have failed to enter the market.
In the late 2000s, low-cost car manufacturers Lifan, Chery, Tobe and BYD were the best known names in the low-cost car wave at that time. Tata Group from India also planned to join the market.
Lifan was considered the pioneer in the low-cost car market segment when launching of its products in 2008. The manufacturer planned to set up a factory in Vietnam to assemble products for domestic sale. However, just three years later, Lifan stopped operations.
Chery, BYD and Tobe disappeared from the Vietnamese market despite their great efforts to launch marketing campaigns and apply attractive post-sale services.
At the time when TMT Motors was preparing for Indian Tata Nano, many other low-cost car brands withdrew from the market. Tata then decided to cancel the plan.
India was once Vietnam's largest exporter of low-priced completely built-up (CBU) small cars during the first seven months of 2016, according to the Vietnam General Department of Customs.
India along China ranked the third among the biggest CBU car exporters to Vietnam in the January-July period with 7,900 units, just behind Thailand with 18,800 units and South Korea with 12,000 units.
Up to 95 percent or 7,500 out of India's total number of 7,900 cars imported into Vietnam during the phase were low-cost small cars.
The Duy, a salesman at Toyota, commented that the majority of Vietnamese people like to have low-cost cars, but they choose to buy mid- or high-end products.
“At first, they come to showrooms to seek to buy low-cost cars, but they change their mind after talking to others and decide to buy more expensive products,” he commented.
“They don’t have confidence in the quality of low-cost cars. They tend to buy cars which have selling prices higher than their financial capacity.
This is reflected in the departure of nearly all low-cost car brands which once tried to penetrate the market.
Analysts said they don’t think the low-cost car brands would have opportunities to return to Vietnam.
“I’m not too fastidious and I would buy a low-cost car if its quality is ‘acceptable’. However, the quality of all low-cost products is bad,” said Tuan, who bought a Lifan two years ago.
Members of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) sold more than 17,600 cars in February, down 13 per cent from the previous month.
Tran Thuy, VNN
Major Ha Noi hospital projects dropped
Several major hospital construction projects that would have provided residents of the capital and its surroundings with thousands of beds have been abandoned over the past decade.
Such was the case with the planned Ha Dong International Hospital in Ha Dong District, with a total area of about 16.65ha.
The project was approved by the former Ha Tay Province People’s Committee (the province has since been merged into Ha Noi). In 2008, the Ha Long Investment and Development Co Ltd announced its investment in the new hospital complex.
In 2011, the Ha Noi People’s Committee asked the investor to speed up the project’s progress, but by 2014, the ground clearance had not even been completed.
Recently, the Aeon Viet Nam Company signed a contract with the Ha Long company to build a mall in Ha Dong District. The capital authorities have thus decided to change the plan, and to approve a smaller hospital with a mall next door.
Under the new plan, the Ha Dong International Hospital will be built on 7.1ha with 600 beds, occupying nearly 43 per cent of the land. And the remaining piece of land will be used to build the mall on 9.5ha.
Another plan was approved in 2011 by the Ha Noi People’s Committee to build four hospitals, each with 1,000 beds, in four suburban districts to meet residents’ demand.
Under the plan, the Northern General Hospital was to be built in Me Linh District, scheduled to start in September 2011 and open for public use in June 2013. The second hospital was to be built in Dan Phuong or Thach That District on 10ha, scheduled to start in September 2011. The third hospital was planned for Gia Lam District and the fourth for Phu Xuyen District.
The Ha Noi People’s Committee assigned the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to mobilise capital for the plan.
Nguyen Xuan Truong, chairman of the Me Linh District People’s Committee, told the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that after the municipal authority issued a decision related to the Me Linh hospital, the district hospital moved to another place to make room for the new facility.
The new Me Linh hospital was expected to serve the demand of residents from Soc Son, Dong Anh, Dan Phuong districts and neighbouring provinces, such as Vinh Phuc and Phu Tho. “We looked forward to the project,” he said.
But local authorities appear to have changed their policies on medical facilities, preferring smaller, more specialised ones to major district hospitals.
At a recent conference between the Ministry of Health and the Ha Noi People’s Committee, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said that the Government agreed to build a paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology hospital in Quoc Oai District, and a dental, stomatology and ophthalmology hospital in a suburban district.
Officials of the Ha Noi People’s Committee agreed that the city should not build big hospitals, and build smaller hospitals instead, located in residential quarters so that residents can access them easily for examination and treatment.
Shipbuilders allegedly buy silence as poor-quality fishing boats inspected incentral Vietnam
An inspection team is pictured aboard one of the affected boats in Binh Dinh, south-central Vietnam.
As many as 18 steel-clad fishing boats in the south-central province of Binh Dinh, built by Nam Trieu Co. and Dai Nguyen Duong Co., had to lie dormant ashore as they were damaged shortly after being handed over to fishermen.
A representative of one of the shipbuilers has said the damages were caused by "too salty seawater".
Binh Dinh has formed an independent inspection team to examine the boats following complaints from their owners.
“This is a serious matter,” the province’s deputy chairman Tran Chau said at a meeting on Friday.
Chau added that the problem has grown even dodgier after some fishermen had demanded that authorities cease the planned independent inspection into their boats.
“This is unreasonable,” Chau said, implying that the shipbuilders had somehow encouraged the fishermen to withdraw their petition.
Also on Friday, many boat owners have denounced that the shipbuilders had indeed offered to pay hundreds of millions of dong (VND100 = US$4,405) to have them withdraw the call for inspection.
Tran Van Phuc, deputy director of the Binh Dinh agriculture department, said seven fishermen had asked to withdraw their complaints, saying they did not want their boats to be inspected by authorities.
However, on Friday, six of them told the agriculture department that they would not pull the complaints. The only fisherman who did not want his boat to be inspected is Le Hoai Thanh, who said he had received VND250 million ($11,013) from the shipbuilder to fix the ship’s damages.
The constant changes of mind of the fishermen had angered Chau, the provincial deputy chairman.
He requested that the panel formed to independently appraise the fishing boats in question must do their duty, even when the affected fishermen withdraw their complaints against the shipbuilders.
“I have also asked the Binh Dinh police department to call for intervention from the Ministry of Public Security,” he said.
Chau demanded that the case be properly handled and “any heartless shipbuilders with deliberate violations must be strictly sanctioned, even criminally punished.”
Citing a preliminary inspection, Phan Trong Ho, director of the Binh Dinh agriculture department, said the 18 poor-quality fishing boats have been found to be built with Chinese-made steel, instead of South Korean product as contracted.
The quality of the boats’ paint cover was also below standard, Ho told (Youth) newspaper.
He underlined that the boat engines, supposed to be supplied by Japan’s Mitsubishi, are not authentic products.
“Many of the engines are meant to use for means of road transportation, not fishing boats,” the official said.
Teddy Truong Thuong, a Mitsubishi representative based in Singapore, has confirmed that the engines and power generators installed on eight of the fishing boats in question “show signs of being altered.”
“The machines may have been altered for use in maritime environment and there are signs that the generators are not our authentic products,” the Mitsubishi representative asserted.
Tran Dinh Son, one of the owners of the poor-quality boats, said that Nam Trieu executives had tried to persuade him to withdraw his complaint against them.
According to Son’s account, the shipbuilder director Nguyen Hoang Tan and his deputy Bui Huu Hung came to meet him on June 5, two days before Binh Dinh authorities started inspecting his boat.
“Tan and Hung gave me VND100 million, asking me to withdraw all petitions I had filed to Binh Dinh authorities,” he said.
The shipbuilder bosses even gave him a petition withdrawal letter prepared by their own, but Son refused to sign.
“Even so, they submitted the letter to authorities without my consent and signature,” Son said.
On June 7, Son returned VND100 million to Tan.
Another boat owner, Thai Van Duyet, also said Tan had offered to give him VND200 million ($8,800) to buy his silence.
“My boat costs VND20 billion [$881,057] and its poor quality had given me hundreds of millions of losses, so I did not accept the offer,” he said.
“I want the issue to be resolved by authorities.”
Tan told on Friday that the company did not want to use money to persuade fishermen to withdraw their petitions.
“The money is to help them fix the boats’ damages,” he said.
TUOI TRE NEWS
Ministry of Finance to publish names of errant privatised SOEs
The Ministry of Finance said the names of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) which had been privatised but failed to list on exchanges as per regulations would be published on the Government’s e-portal.
The finance ministry is proposing that capital divestments at State-owned enterprises, such as Sabeco, be sped up.
The finance ministry said that there were 578 privatised enterprises which had not registered for listing on stock exchanges. The list has already been sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Enterprises which must transfer State capital ownership to the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) would also have their names published.
The finance ministry said that the progress of privatisation, capital divestment and restructuring of SOEs remained slow in the first five months of this year.
“The transferring of State capital ownership to SCIC is slow. The capital divestment results are also bellow expectation,” the ministry said in a report.
SOEs which must be privatised and divested in this period are mainly of large scale with multi-sector operation and complicated financial situation, the ministry said, adding that it would take time to prepare for evaluation of the corporate value and finding of strategic investors.
The ministry’s report showed that by May 31, enterprises with a total corporate value of more than VNĐ4.15 trillion (US$182 million) were given approval for their privatisation plans, in which State capital accounted for nearly 30 per cent.
Regarding capital divestments, SOEs collected VNĐ14.8 trillion by selling stakes worth VNĐ3.5 trillion in book value.
In the five-month period, SCIC sold stakes at 18 enterprises and collected VNĐ12.2 trillion.
The finance ministry also proposed the capital divestments at beverage producers Habeco and Sabeco be sped up, following the Prime Minister’s directive.
The capital divestments at Habeco and Sabeco saw little progress, since the foundation of a steering committee in charge of this in October last year.
In August 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced plans to divest out of the two leading beverage companies.
Accordingly, it was to sell the State’s entire stake of 82 per cent at Habeco in 2016 and collect approximately VNĐ9 trillion.
For Habeco, the stake sales were to be implemented in two phases, 53.59 per cent of the charter capital in 2016, equivalent to VNĐ24 trillion, and the remaining 36 per cent of the charter capital would be sold in 2017. However, these plans were missed.
The finance ministry also told the Prime Minister to decide soon on the plan to sell SCIC’s stakes in national dairy firm Vinamilk.
Vietnamese ice cream brands fight for bigger market share
The ice cream and frozen dessert market is a lucrative market with value of VND2.620 trillion in 2016, an increase of 13 percent over 2015.
Khanh, an ‘ice cream fan’, who lives in district 7, HCMC, said she buys ice cream daily.
“The leaflets advertising Twin Cows, a new ice cream product, appeared in my apartment block some days ago. At first, I thought this was a foreign ice cream brand, because the design was very good and the images colourful. But later, I found it was a 100 percent Vietnamese brand – Vinamilk,” she said.
Khanh named nearly 10 other ice cream brands which she said ‘are very popular in Vietnam’. Her favorite brand is Häagen-Dazs, but she doesn’t buy it regularly because it is too expensive.
“Each Häagen-Dazs 100ml is sold at VND68,000. So my salary is not enough,” she said.
Vietnamese spending on ice cream remains modest, VND35,000 per head per annum, while the figures are VND122,000 in Malaysia and VND391,000 in Singapore. This means that investors still have big opportunities to develop the market.
This is why most of the world’s best known ice cream brands are present in Vietnam, from BUDS, Häagen-Dazs, Baskin - Robbins, to Snowee, Swensens, Fanny and Monte Rosa.
The rapid and strong penetration of foreign brands has divided the market into two market segments. The high-end segment is the playing field for foreign brands which sell their products at no less than VND50,000-70,000 a 100 ml jar.
Thuy Thuong, an office worker, a fan of Snowee, said her family eats ice cream every weekend. “Snowee’s ice cream is very tasty, but it is too expensive,” she said. “We have to pay VND400,000 each time, too much for dessert.”
Meanwhile, South Korean and Thai brands mostly target lower income and mid-end market segment. The products are available at supermarkets and convenience stores for VND12,000-20,000.
Fresh ice cream can be found mostly at fast food shops of Lotteria, KFC and McDonald’s. An analyst said at the shops, the revenue is even higher than that from main food items.
However, despite the presence of many foreign brands, the ice cream market is still controlled by Vietnamese brands.
A report of Euromonitor International showed that Merino and Celano, the two brands owned by Vietnamese KDF Group, now hold the biggest market share of 35 percent, followed by Vinamilk and Thuy Ta.
In 2016, KDF’s net revenue was VND1.397 trillion, a 31 percent growth rate over the year before.
Kim Chi, VNN
Military argue against using golf course for Tan Son Nhat Airport expansion
World’s costliest? Hanoi plans to spend over $342mn building 2.2km road
The O Cho Dua-Hoang Cau section of the Vanh Dai 1 Street in Hanoi was opened to traffic in 2013.
A construction management committee in the Vietnamese capital has submitted a plan to the municipal administration, proposing the construction of a new section of Vanh Dai 1 Street in O Cho Dua Ward, Dong Da District.
The proposed new road will be 2.2 kilometers long and 50 meters wide, with one end intersecting Cat Linh-La Thanh-Yen Lan Street and the other meeting Voi Phuc Intersection.
The project will encompass an area of nearly 160,000 square meters, of which over half currently belongs to local residents.
This means that to execute the plan, a total of 2,044 households will have to be displaced.
Capital investment required is estimated at VND7.779 trillion ($342.5 million), of which over VND6.4 trillion ($281.7 million) will be used for site clearance and the repatriation of affected residents.
Building costs will account for no more than VND1.8 trillion ($79.2 million).
The project is expected to be partially financed by the state budget and other legitimate channels.
The new section of road, estimated to cost VND3.5 billion ($154,105) per meter, will break the record of the most expensive path in Vietnam, previously set by the first section of Vanh Dai 1 Street.
The 700-meter O Cho Dua-Hoang Cau section required an investment of VND1.767 trillion ($77.8 million), while the 550-meter Kim Lien-O Cho Dua section cost VND642 billion ($28.2 million).
TUOI TRE NEWS
Trung Nam Group to join renewable energy sector
On June 10, Trung Nam Construction Investment Corporation (Trung Nam Group) and Trung Nam Wind Power Joint Stock Company signed contracts with partners to implement wind and solar power projects in the central province of Ninh Thuan.
The future partners of Trung Nam Group in these projects are prestigious contractors in and outside the country, including Lilama 45.3 Joint Stock Company, Green Cosmos Marketing Pte Ltd., and especially Enercon and Syntegra Solar, two giants specialising in wind and solar power equipment provision.
Nguyen Tam Tien, general director of Trung Nam Group, noted that the collaboration with these two energy giants from Germany proves the high determination of the investors to implement the projects. According to him, the investors have rejected out-dated technologies from several foreign countries and levelled up the quality of investment package with high initial installation costs.
“These two Germany-based contractors are considered the Mercedes of the wind and solar energy industry due to their certified reputation. With the high quality, low-cost operation, long-term insurance, and high performance offered by the contractors, Trung Nam Group believes that the projects will efficiently come into operation and contribute to the budget of Ninh Thuan after their first phase is completed next year,” said Tien.
The collaboration of Trung Nam Group with Enercon and Syntegra Solar is expected to exploit the potential and advantages of Ninh Thuan in wind and solar power sectors. It also marks a milestone in bilateral economic partnership between Vietnam and Germany, paving the way for future collaboration in renewable energy development.
The construction of the Trung Nam wind power plant began in August 2016 with the total investment of VND3.96 trillion ($174.5 million). The factory is set to have a capacity of 90-100 MW, generating 286 million kWh of energy. Phase I of this project is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2018, while phase II will be finished in the second quarter of 2019.
Trung Nam Group is also conducting a feasibility study of a solar power project as part of the wind power project. The company said it may develop a 515 MW solar power project in Ninh Thuan.
Wind and solar power projects carried out by Trung Nam Group are expected to set the foundation for future integration projects in renewables in Ninh Thuan. Besides, according to investors, these projects will encourage other national and international investors to take advantage of renewable and clean energy in order to reduce environmental pollution caused by fossil fuel usage, and to support the model of energy usage provided by the Vietnamese government.
By Phuong Linh, VIR
Vietnam is 4th in shrimp imports to US market for April
For the month of April, official US import data showed that Vietnamese shrimp companies accounted for the fourth largest share of the market narrowly being edged out for third by Thailand.
US shrimp imports rose 16% in volume year-on-year for the month of April to 45,764 metric tons. The increase in tonnage came despite a 2% rise in the average per-kilo value to US$9.62 this year.
The volume and price rises combined resulted in an overall shrimp import value increase of 18% to US$440.4 million for the month of April, according to the US import data.
How are Japanese investors conquering Vietnam's retail market?
7-Eleven has announced it will open its first shop in Vietnam on June 15. Aeon, MiniStop and FamilyMart have already joined one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world.
The first 7-Eleven is located on the ground floor of Saigon Trade Center in the central district 1 in HCMC, the commercial hub of Vietnam. The retail giant has decided to jump into the Vietnamese market sooner than predicted by Nikkei.
7-Eleven will be the third Japanese convenience store brand in Vietnam, after FamilyMart and MiniStop. Vietnam is the 19th market that 7-Eleven sets foot in.
The arrival of 7-Eleven in Vietnam is foreseeable. Vietnam is considered the ‘magnet’ that attracts international retailers thanks to the a population of 90 million, with young people with increasingly high income, and rapid urbanization.
Aeon Mall has been expanding its network in Vietnam. The retailer in March announced the opening of one more shopping mall in Ha Dong district. The project, valued at $200 million, or VND4.5 trillion, is expected to become operational by 2019.
This will be Aeon’s fifth shopping mall in Vietnam. To date, Aeon has poured $600 million into five malls. However, it has just gone one/fourth of the way it has set for itself.
When opening Aeon Binh Tan in June 2016, a representative of Aeon said though some difficulties exist, the retailer still wanted to open 20 Aeon Malls in Vietnam by 2020.
Aeon now holds 49 percent of stake of Citimart and 30 percent of stake of Fivimart.
Aeon has been expanding since 2008 when it came to Vietnam. In 2011, the giant's first cooperation deal with Trung Nguyen to open G7 – Ministop, a convenience store chain. However, the partnership only lasted until February 2015.
After breaking up with Trung Nguyen, Aeon teamed up with Sojitz to open 200 shops within three years.
Takashimaya is another well-known Japanese name in the Vietnamese market. It reportedly has invested $47 million in Vietnam since 2012.
The money has been injected in Saigon Center and other real estate.
Many other Japanese businesses are also interested, but they enter the market through partners. ACA Investments, for example, has acquired 20 percent of stake of Bibo Mart.
When asked by Forbes Vietnam about competition with other brands on the occasion of the opening of the first 7-Eleven, Vu Thanh Tu, CEO of Seven System Vietnam, the partner in the franchise contract said the market is very large.
Kim Chi, VNN
Hanoi mother arrested in alleged murder of 35-day-old son
Locals gather at the crime scene in Hanoi.
The 20-year-old mother, known only as P.T.T. for legal reasons, shows signs of suffering from postpartum depression, according to police.
Her son, V.V.A., was found dead lying face-down to a sink inside the bathroom at 5:00 am on June 12 by his grandfather, V.D.L.
L. was also shocked to see a text written along the house’s staircase, which read “I will kill your grandchild.”
The newborn was only 35 days old at the time of death. T. was L.’s daughter-in-law.
Hanoi police said the suspect had been taken back to the house in Huu Bang Commune, Thach That District to serve the crime scene reconstruction.
T. got married in 2016 and is known among her family members and relatives as a kind and calm person, even though she sometimes showed abnormal signs.
Postpartum depression is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman within four weeks after delivery.
TUOI TRE NEWS
Massive cross-country expy project not on National Assembly agenda
The big-ticket North-South Expressway project is not on the agenda of the National Assembly at its ongoing session in Hanoi.
A view of HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway as part of the planned North-South Expressway project
According to a proposal for amending the NA agenda from June 16 until the end of the NA session, which the NA Standing Committee has submitted, the much-touted expressway project worth US$13.7 billion equivalent is not found in the draft of the amended agenda.
NA General Secretary Nguyen Hanh Phuc on June 12 presented the proposed adjusted agenda.
This means lawmakers will not discuss the project at its ongoing third session.
At the request of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on June 3 asked Transport Engineering Design Incorporation (TEDI), a unit of the Transport Ministry, to finalize the pre-feasibility study for the project in a timely and effective manner.
The pre-feasibility study was later done and the State Appraisal Council asked the Government for approval to send it to the NA at its ongoing session.
Having consulted the NA Standing Committee and other agencies, the Deputy Prime Minister told the Ministry Transport and TEDI to perfect the study in preparation for submitting the study to the NA.
The project was tabled at an extraordinary session of the NA Standing Committee on June 1.
The expressway would have four to six lanes that allow vehicles to travel at 80 to 120 kilometers per hour and would need an estimated VND312.4 trillion (US$13.7 billion). It would consist of 20 smaller projects, with 17 of them to be developed under build-operate-transfer (BOT) format.
The section from Hanoi City to HCMC is 1,622 kilometers long, of which 123 kilometers has been opened to traffic, including Phap Van-Cau Gie, Cau Gie-Ninh Binh, and HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay sections. Work on the 127-kilometer Danang-Quang Ngai section is underway.
The remaining sections totaling 1,372 kilometers will be developed in two stages, with stage one running from 2017 to 2025, and stage two from 2025 onwards.
SaigonBank has new CEO
The Saigon Bank for Industry and Trade (SaigonBank) has appointed Vu Quang Lam as its CEO with effect from Monday.
Vu Quang Lam (left) has been appointed as SaigonBank's new CEO from June 12. Lam replaces the former CEO Tran Thi Viet Anh (right), who retired on June 12.
Lam, a member of the bank’s board of directors, will replace Tran Thi Viet Anh, who retired on Monday.
Lam is a member of Phu Nhuan Construction and Housing Trading Company Ltd as well as deputy general director of HCM City Finance & Investment State-owned Company (HFIC).
Around 65 per cent of the bank’s capital is distributed equally between four major shareholders: HCM City Party Committee Office, Phu Nhuan Construction and Housing Trading Company Ltd, Ky Hoa Tourist Company and Saigon Petro Company Ltd.
Vietcombank and VietinBank own 4.37 per cent and 4.91 per cent of SaigonBank shares, respectively.
The bank recently announced that its 2016’s list of shareholders will receive dividend payment at the rate of 4 per cent. The list closes on June 27, 2017.
With a charter capital of VND3 trillion (US$135 million), SaigonBank expects to pay VND123 billion in dividends to shareholders. The payment will be made on July 27.