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  • 07/12/17--01:59: Article 1
  • PM orders measures to cope with floods in northern provinces


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued an official dispatch requesting relevant ministries, sectors and localities to proactively respond to heavy rains and subsequent floods the northern mountainous region.


    Flood in the northern province of Thai Nguyen (Illustrative image.


    In the official dispatch, the PM asked provincial People’s Committees to continue instructing the settlement of consequences caused by recent downpours and floods, focusing on finding missing people, aiding affected families and providing food and essential commodities for households whose houses were destroyed.

    PM Phuc urged the northern provinces to check flashflood- and landslide-prone areas and issue early warnings for local authorities and households to move to safe areas and work out evacuation plans, in addition to arranging guard forces to ensure traffic safety in deeply-flooded locations. Health workers must stand ready to prevent diseases after floods, he said.

    The PM ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to direct competent agencies and localities to keep a close watch and ensure safe operation of water reservoirs and dyke systems, and deploy measures to protect agricultural production.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade was tasked to monitor and instruct the safe operation of water reservoirs and power grids, while the Ministry of Transport was requested to ensure traffic safety on highways and assist flood-affected localities in addressing traffic incidents.

    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was responsible for closely monitoring developments of rains and floods, promptly forecasting and informing to relevant agencies and localities to take preventive measures.

    The Vietnam Television and Radio of the Voice of Vietnam along with centrally-run and local mass media agencies were ordered to increase communications to help people prevent natural disasters.

    The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control was requested to work with ministries and localities to deal with calamities at different risk levels.

    According to the committee, so far rains and floods have killed 16 people, of whom four lost their lives to a landslide. Another two people are unaccounted for in Cao Bang and Ha Giang provinces. 

    Torrential rains and floods have also damaged 86 houses, submerged 500 hectares of paddy fields and other crops, and swept away 70,000 cubic meters of soil and rocks.

    Initial losses were estimated at around 20 billion VND (909,000 USD).

    VNA


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  • 07/12/17--02:27: Article 0
  • Fury room in Hanoi offers stress relief


     The Fury Room in Hanoi is the perfect destination for those who can just let loose and destroy as much furniture as they want.

    For just VND149,000 (USD6.55) customers visiting the location on Le Dai Hanh Street can wreck the room in any way they want. Even though the room has been opened for only two months, it has attracted many people, especially popular among young people, as a way to relieve pent-up stress and anger.

    Nguyen Ngoc Thinh, the founder of the room, said he worked in the customer service before and had met many people.

    "Some days, I had to work 12-hour days with hundreds of people so I got angry very easily but there was no way for me to get it out. I decided to open this room so I could vent my anger first and balance my life. Then I wanted to share it with other people who also face huge pressures," he said.

    People, as varied as office workers to students, seek out the Fury Room.

    "Many young people, even high-schoolers came here after a stressful graduation exam. Many said they felt like their heads would explode from the pressure from their families to pass the university exam. They just want to vent it out on inanimate objects," Thinh said.

    Before entering the room, customers must wear a protective suit so that they won't injure themselves. Then they are given various weapons like the baseball bat, golf club or rubber gun. The furniture in the room includes second-hand televisions, phones and electric rice cookers.

    A customer who wants to remain anonymous, said, "This is the first time I decided to break a TV without having to think about the consequences. This is interesting. I just hit it and hit it and not care about anyone or anything else. After breaking the whole room, I felt relieved."

    Some photos of the Furry Room in Hanoi:
      
    The fury room in Hanoi gaining fame among office workers and students 
      

    Preparing protective suits
      
      
      

    Baseball bats wielded in the room
    danviet


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  • 07/16/17--01:24: Article 3
  • Experts: Vietnamese youngsters need better life skills


    It is high time that Vietnam strengthen education on laws and life skills for young citizens so they have self-restraint in conflicts, psychologists have said.


     

    Experts: Vietnamese youngsters need better life skills, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news

    A series of violent incidents were filmed and went viral online, mostly between foreigners and Vietnamese youths, stirring public concern over the aggressive behavior and morals of those involved.

    The statement was made after a series of violent incidents were filmed and went viral online, mostly between foreigners and Vietnamese youths, stirring public concern over the aggressive behavior and morals of those involved.

    Last week, a video clip of a fight in the tourist town of Sa Pa town went viral. A Dutch national, carrying his wife on the motorbike, almost collided with a car full of Vietnamese men. The Dutchman argued with the driver about his dangerous driving and pushed the driver, who then, together with four other men, attacked the foreigner.

    Colonel Tran Van Truong, head of Sa Pa district’s Police Department, said police had investigated the case.

    Previously, on June 26, Hanoi’s Hai Ba Trung district police prosecuted two suspects for deliberately injuring a foreigner. The two, aged 26 and 29 respectively, were detained for further investigation.

    Dr Pham Manh Ha, deputy head of youth work department of the Vietnam Youth Academy said violent acts, sparked by minor traffic incidents, showed that people tended to care only about themselves, regardless of right and wrong.

    Daily pressures and long-term stress might contribute to the violence, he said.

    PhD Huynh Van Son, a psychologist, said that the essence of the problem was aggressive human behavior, which was out of control.

    PhD Do Van Quan of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences said that this emerging evil was a societal disease, caused by unrest in modern society, or a series of long-term pressures, annoyances or frustrations that people kept inside.

    Thus, they would argue, fight, or even kill someone to relieve their suffering when they could not find a way to change their lives, he said.

    PhD Khuat Thu Hong, director of the Institute for Social Development Studies, said that these recent cases were not new, but were happening more regularly and dangerously.

    Hong said currently, there was no scientific research on the reasons of the issue. However, she cited that it was noticeable that most of the cases were caused by young people who lacked life skills and had little ability to control their impulses.

    For years, the national education system has only focused on knowledge and ignored educating its students on life skills. In addition, education on legal knowledge and the implementation of laws is ineffective.

    Some have even lost their faith in law, and decided to deal with conflicts with violence, she said.

    Hong also said that society is part of the problem. Bystanders supported the aggressors instead of helping solve the conflict.

    According to the psychologists, it was necessary to improve the legal knowledge and life skills of young citizens, by both schools and families.

    Families play an important role in teaching them love, self-reliance and thinking skills to face unexpected circumstances.

    VNA


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  • 07/16/17--01:46: Article 2
  •  Foreign investors flock to metro projects


    An increasing number of foreign investors are eager to invest in metro projects in Vietnam to cash in on the country's growing public transportation demands.


    Foreign investors flock to metro projects, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    On July 12, 2017, Keximbank leader Young Pyo Hong met with Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia to discuss the possibilities of investing in metro line projects in Ho Chi Minh City.

    "With experience and strong financial capacity, Keximbank has built metro systems in South Korea. We are interested in metro lines in Ho Chi Minh City, especially the package linking to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, metro line 4, and metro line 5," said Hong.

    German industrial giant Siemens is also interested.

    At a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as part of his official visit to Germany during July 5-8, Siemens expressed interest in joining metro line projects in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Andreas Mehlhorn, head of Siemens AG’s IT Solutions, Mobility and Logistics, once told VIR that Siemens had been pursuing the Metro Line 2 project in Ho Chi Minh City since 1993.

    Under Siemens’ Metro Line 2 study, the 10.2-kilometre metro line will run mostly underground, beneath the busiest parts of the city and potentially handle two million passengers a day.

    Siemens has worked on metro systems throughout the world, including Singapore, where Siemens’ signalling and electrification systems have been used.

    Not only Keximbank and Siemens, but also Lotte Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. a subsidiary of the fifth-biggest corporation in South Korea, Lotte Group, is venturing further into the Vietnam transport infrastructure segment, with metro lines in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City among the focuses of operation expansion.

    Lotte E&C is also interested in the North-South Expressway, the North-South High-Speed Railway, Long Thanh International Airport.

    "We want to invest in sustainable, long-term projects in Vietnam," a Lotte spokesperson for overseas investment projects noted.

    VIR


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  • 07/16/17--01:59: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 16/7


    Binh Phuoc attracts 31.8 million USD in foreign investment


     Vietnam seeks cooperation with Russia’s Sverdlovsk province, Italy-Vietnam launch footwear tech centre, Replace workers with machines: experts, Rice recovery no cause for cheer

    The southern province of Binh Phuoc has attracted eight foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, with a combined registered capital of 31.8 million USD in the first six months this year.

    The figure is below the province’s expectation, requiring local policy makers to revise a specific strategy to increase FDI attraction.

    As an effort to improve business and investment climate, monthly dialogues have been conducted to help enterprises and investors operating in the Binh Phuoc, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Vo Sa said, adding that numerous measures have been taken to attract investors, particularly the construction of infrastructure facilities in industrial parks and clusters.

    The construction of infrastructure facilities is underway to lure investors in big industrial parks, such as the 2,000ha Becamex – Binh Phuoc urban and industrial zone, while Dong Xoai 3 IP, Minh Hung – Sikico IP, Hoa Lu border gate economic zone are ready for investors to land in.

    However, geographic location, poor transport system and limited human resources are the province’s disadvantages in attracting investment, according to experts.

    Tran Dinh Thien, deputy head of the Vietnam Economic Institute, suggested Binh Phuoc take advantages of its vast land and favourable climate condition to develop high-valued industrial plant material areas, such as cashew nuts, pepper, rubber, fruit trees, particularly clean vegetables to supply for Ho Chi Minh City.

    The provincial People’s Committee has approved a plan to develop smart and hi-tech agriculture to lure investors. Under the plan, the province has zoned off 1,000 ha for hi-tech agriculture in Loc Ninh, Hon Quan districts and Dong Xoai town.

    Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Loi urged sectors to call for investment in the smart agriculture production chain, particularly the regional connectivity to ensure a sustainable source of clean materials, such as cashew nuts and peppercorns.

    Dozens of cooperatives have been established and joined the chain. The clean pepper growing model has proven effective and been multiplied across the province.

    According to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Van Loc, the province has over 134,000 hectares of cashew trees, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the nation’s coverage, producing 280,000 tonnes per year.

    Over 70,000 tonnes of cashew nuts are shipped abroad each year, generating 504 million USD or one third of the province’s export values.

    The locality also has over 270 plants and over 1,600 small facilities processing cashew nuts, creating jobs for 50,000 labourers.

    Currently, the province is home to 163 FDI projects, worth nearly 1.5 billion USD.

    Ha Nam attracts 194 million USD of investment

    The Red River Delta province of Ha Nam has so far this year attracted 46 projects, including 10 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, with total registered capital of nearly 194 million USD.

    According to Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Oang, during the reviewed period, 44 operational projects were licensed to add 118 million USD.

    In order to attract more investments, Ha Nam will continue designing more support policies for investors, while diversifying investment promotion methods.

    At the same time, the province will also improve the quality of investment by prioritising projects in the supporting industry, processing and manufacturing sectors with high and environmentally-friendly technologies.

    Meanwhile, the province will also increase inspections of the enforcement of law in investment to remove arising difficulties for investors, Oang said.

    Ha Nam will also complete infrastructure in industrial parks, and provide support services for the industrial parks such as power, water supply and telecommunications services, while assisting investors with human resources and legal consultation, he added.

    VPBank increases its charter capital to 14 trillion VND

    VPBank has successfully increased its charter capital to around 14 trillion VND (around 616.7 million USD).

    The capital hike was implemented through the dividend payout in shares and share bonus.

    After the rise, the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam issued Decision 1426/QD-NHNN on July 7, revising VPBank’s business licence with a change to its charter capital from 10.77 trillion VND to 14 trillion VND.

    VPBank will make another charter capital hike this year, of roughly 2 trillion VND to raise its capital to 16 trillion VND through a 15 percent private placement to local and international investors. The share price will be determined by mutual consent through negotiations between the bank and its investors, but it will be higher than the book value.

    The bank said it is raising more capital to meet its operational demand, and to comply with the safety ratio regulated by the central bank.

    This year, VPBank has been the second bank in the country to finalise a capital hike plan, after OCB.

    On June 20, OCB completed its charter capital hike procedures and raised its capital from 4 trillion VND to 5 trillion VND through dividend payout in shares and private placement.

    Vietnam seeks cooperation with Russia’s Sverdlovsk province

    A delegation of Vietnam’s Embassy, Consulate General in Yekaterinburg city and Business Association in Russia visited Sverdlovsk province from July 12-15 to seek cooperation opportunities with Russian localities. 

    Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Son, who led the delegation, met with Governor Evgeny Kuyvashev and Minister of International and Foreign Economic Relations Andrey Sobolev. 

    The ambassador told hosts that President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to Russia from June 28-July 1 has opened up conditions for inter-regional cooperation between Vietnam and Russia.  

    Vietnamese businesses have been running a number of major projects in Russia with the most noteworthy being a dairy project invested by TH True Milk. 

    According to Son, Sverdlovsk has potential for cooperation, and Vietnamese businesses should put forth a specific cooperation and investment strategy in Russia to fully tap the potential. 

    Minister of International and Foreign Economic Relations Andrey Sobolev promised that as an industrial, logistics and cultural centre of Russia, Sverdlovsk will actively participate in activities marking the 25th anniversarty of the signing of the Treaty on Principles of Friendly Relations between Vietnam and Russia in 2019. 

    Apart from traditional sectors like metallurgy and machine manufacturing, the province is turning eyes towards pharmaceutical products, transportation machine and equipment manufacturing, and bio-technology, he said, noting his hope that Vietnam will be interested in such technologies and products. 

    He expresses his firm belief that Sverdlovsk firms will be interested in seeking investment chances in Vietnam and attracting investments from the Southeast Asian nation.

    The two sides discussed in detail a range of cooperation activities, from the meeting of the inter-governmental committee scheduled for next September in Hanoi to exhibitions displaying Vietnamese products in Moscow expected to be held at the end of this year. 

    Governor E.Kuyvashev had instructions to set up a delegation to visit Vietnam this year. 

    On this occasion, the Vietnamese delegation visited pavilions of the Innoprom International Industrial Exhibition and several industrial facilities of Yekaterinburg city of Sverdlovsk province. They also met with representatives of the Vietnamese community and businesses in Sverdlovsk.

    Italy-Vietnam launch footwear tech centre

    The Italian Trade Agency, the National Association of Manufacturers of Footwear, Leather Goods and Tanning Technologies, and the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO) have inaugurated the Italy-Vietnam Footwear Technology Centre at the Lefaso Centre in the southern province of Binh Duong’s Di An district.

    With its experience in the leather industry, Italy will assist Vietnamese companies in improving product quality through collaboration and the launch of the centre, which will enable technology transfer, consultancy and training of human resource.

    The centre is equipped with modern machinery and equipment imported directly from Italy and other European countries, allowing small and medium-sized enterprises in the leather-footwear industry to approach, research and develop new products.

    The centre also joins hands with the Ho Chi Minh City Industry and Trade College to organise training programmes for staff in charge of production, design and product development at footwear enterprises, apprising them about leading global design and manufacturing trends.

    LEFASO vice chairman Diep Thanh Kiet said “The Vietnamese footwear industry has a wonderful chance to strengthen its trade relations with Italy in particular and the European Union in general.

    “Italy is the fashion centre of the world, and so expansion of trade between Vietnam and Italy in the field of footwear is very necessary. Bilateral trade has developed quite well in recent years. In 2016 Vietnam exported more than 380 million USD worth of leather-footwear products to Italy, or 8 percent of its total exports to the EU market.”

    The idea of establishing the centre took shape two years ago during a meeting of the Italy-Vietnam Intergovernmental Committee in Hanoi.

    Replace workers with machines: experts     

    The Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) and the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) on Thurday held a conference to promote smart manufacturing for Viet Nam’s textile industry.

    Truong Van Cam, VITAS’ vice chairman, said that it was critical for Vietnamese textile firms to renovate their manufacturing systems toward smart production amid the industrial revolution 4.0.

    The industrial revolution 4.0 will bring significant changes and moving towards smart manufacturing is necessary for labour-intensive industries like textiles in which labour can easily be replaced by machines, Cam said.

    Cam said opportunities would be there for those who took action to move towards smart manufacturing.

    Smart manufacturing would bring a number of benefits such as increasing productivity, output, reducing costs, enhancing management efficiency and improving the working environment.

    At the conference, Vietnamese firms learned about smart manufacturing trends from leading Korean experts in dying, smart fabric management and 3D design, to improve competitiveness of Vietnamese firms.

    According to Vu Duc Giang, VITAS’ chairman, South Korea was the fourth largest garment and textile importer of Viet Nam with import revenue jumping from US$979 million in 2011 to $2.28 billion in 2016. 

    Rice recovery no cause for cheer     

    Recent gains in the volume and value of rice exports can be attributed more to low prices than to better quality or greater market penetration, experts say.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in the first six months of 2017, rice export turnover reached 2.8 million tonnes, up 6.3 per cent in quantity and 4.9 per cent in value over the same period last year.

    While this marked a recovery after a somewhat quiet period, Tran Ngoc Trung, director of the Vinh Phat Investment Corporation, said the real reason behind the increase was lower prices offered by Vietnamese exporters compared to other countries’ in the region. He explained that Vietnamese businesses did not have enough information regarding the international rice market to increase their own prices in time.

    Looking at statistics for the past two months, at the beginning of May, the price for Vietnamese 5 per cent broken white rice was about US$350 to $354 per tonne, whereas the same type of rice from a Thai exporter was priced at $390 per tonne, $388 per tonne for Indian rice and a whopping $412 per tonne for Pakistani rice.

    It is understandable why international buyers would opt for Vietnamese rice, pushing the turnover way up in June, Trung said.

    This trend is further confirmed by data from the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), in which price hikes occurred mostly in the first three months of 2017, while the average price for exported rice since April 2017 has been recorded as lower than the previous year, despite the average of six months being $13.2 per tonne higher than the same period in 2016.

    Of particular note is that rice export prices dropped $20 per tonne and $11.38 per tonne in April and May 2017 respectively over the same months year.

    Vietnamese rice exporters agree that for the first five months, the rice export market was quiet as businesses had to wait for the Government to finish signing contracts with traditional markets like Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

    When the contracts were finalised in June, market prices had already surpassed the prices quoted in the signed contracts.

    It is estimated that the price for 5 per cent broken white rice on the open market is about $405 to $410 per tonne, while the price agreed to in the contracts is just $370 per tonne.

    The VFA further said that although at the moment, the majority of Vietnamese rice for export have around the same prices as the same varieties from India, Myanmar or Pakistan, which is only $10 to $15 per tonne lower than Thailand’s prices, the chief concern for Vietnamese producers was that they failed to adjust prices as demand rose, which will ultimately result in a loss.

    Thailand has sold most of its stored rice, while Bangladesh is having a rice shortage after crop losses due to natural causes and the Philippines is looking to import more rice.

    Lam Anh Tuan, director of the Thinh Phat Foodstuffs Company Limited in Ben Tre Province, said he saw the open market to be a better profit-making opportunity than the Government’s collective contracts. He also said that another concern for Vietnamese rice producers is that production costs may exceed export prices. For example, the price of whole grain rice has increased by $44.5 per tonne to $370 per tonne, so for producers to turn it into white rice, the current export prices of $370 to $400 per tonne could result in their making a loss.

    Nguyen Van Don, director of Tien Hung Company Limited in Tien Giang Province, said he also favoured the free market, saying it will be an opportunity for Vietnamese producers to increase exports of high quality rice.

    The VFA gave cautious agreement, saying if individual businesses focused too much on meeting the demand in the free markets, they would fail to produce the agreed amounts for collective contracts. This means that the Vietnam Northern Food Corporation and its southern counterpart will have to compensate, as happened once in 2009. Nonetheless, increasing added value on the free rice market will be a good thing for small and medium-sized enterprises, it said.

    Vietnamese businesses should always be aware of regional competition, whether it is through lower prices or better quality. It is crucial that they follow market trends to make timely adjustments and be well prepared for any change in demand and supply, said Tuan. 

    IDM Edu Viet Nam offers Irish digital marketing courses     

    IDM Edu Viet Nam has launched a professional digital marketing training programme authorized by Ireland’s Digital Marketing Institute.

    IDM Edu Viet Nam will provide training programmes ranging from basic to advanced, which will enable students to build a strong and flexible digital marketing platform.

    Vu Van Hien, IDM Edu Viet Nam's learning director, said the curriculum would be updated every two years to match the evolving needs of the industry.

    After the course, students can apply for an international certificate exam -- through the Pearson VUE International Test Centres -- which is recognised in more than 80 countries around the world, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Canada.

    Enrollment for course on certified digital marketing professional is under way.

    Other courses like certified digital marketing specialist in social media and in search marketing and for professionals in certified digital and social selling will be offered in future.

    Demand for human resources in digital marketing is increasing in Viet Nam, but there is a lack of qualified personnel, Hien added. 

    WB forecasts Việt Nam's GDP growth of 6.3%

    The World Bank (WB) on Thursday released its bi-annual report on Việt Nam’s economy, keeping its country GDP forecast at 6.3 per cent this year following an economic boost in the second quarter.

    After a disappointing performance in the first quarter, Việt Nam’s economy kicked on in the ensuing three months, with an estimated GDP of 5.7 per cent in the first half of 2017.

    “Việt Nam’s economy is strong, as a result of strong momentum of Việt Nam’s fundamental growth drivers – domestic demand and export-oriented manufacturing,” said Sebastian Eckardt, lead economist and acting country director for the WB in Việt Nam, at a press conference in Hà Nội on Thursday.

    “These are good conditions to address critical structural bottlenecks to medium term growth while solidifying macroeconomic stability and rebuilding policy buffers.”

    Manufacturing and retail trade were the two biggest contributors to GDP growth in the first half of 2017 at 1.8 and 0.6 percentage points respectively, according to the report.

    Việt Nam also demonstrated exceptional export performance, ranking higher than neighbours in the export index with far greater scores than other countries like China, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, said the report. Those countries’ exports merchandise growth in 2015 and 2016 were negative while Việt Nam’s reached 7.9 and 9 per cent, respectively.

    The WB projection for Việt Nam’s GDP growth is significantly lower that the country’s target of 6.7 per cent, while the International Monetary Fund last week also lowered the GDP outlook for Việt Nam from 6.5 to 6.3 per cent.

    The WB also projected the inflation rate to hover around 4.5 per cent in 2017 and 2018.

    Public debt, calculated by the Ministry of Finance, this year will likely break the red line of 65 per cent of the GDP drawn by the National Assembly, and increase to 65.4 per cent in 2018, according to the WB.

    The WB suggested that the Vietnamese Government consider solidifying macroeconomic stability and rebuilding policy buffers while trying to lower the fiscal deficit and contain risks from rapid credit growth.

    In the long term, sustaining rapid growth and reducing poverty will be the biggest challenges for Việt Nam, the WB said.

    1Pay receives intermediary payment license     

    The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) granted a license for 1Pay Joint Stock Company’s intermediary payment services on July 12.

    Accordingly, the company will be allowed to expand its activities in electronic payments, collection assistance, electronic money transfer and e-wallet services.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Hoang Tuyet Minh, deputy director of SBV’s payment department, said that she expects that 1Pay will provide the best payment solutions to customers, boosting the development of modern non-cash payment solutions in Viet Nam, bringing the country’s e-commerce to an international level.

    1Pay will also launch an online payment portal service which allows end users to pay online by bank cards or bank accounts on e-commerce sites and focus on developing and launching e-wallet applications soon, so that users with bank accounts can carry out purchases or pay bills online on smartphones.

    Launched in January 2013, 1Pay is an intermediary payment platform provider in Viet Nam, enabling local and international businesses to access and integrate mobile payment services simply and automatically.

    1Pay, a fintech startup project of MOG Viet Nam JSC, is now one of the successful open platforms for electronic payment in Việt Nam with more than 3,000 customers from eight different countries. 

    Ceramic maker Viglacera’s profits up 64 per cent     

    Ceramic manufacturer Viglacera Corporation (VGC) has posted a pre-tax profit of VND534 billion in the first half of 2017, up 64 per cent year on year.

    Its net revenue was VND3.87 trillion (US$170 million), up 2.7 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

    The company put up 120 million shares for sale, equivalent to 39 per cent of the total outstanding shares, on Ha Noi Stock Exchange on May 29, at a starting rate of VND12,300 per share.

    After the auction, State ownership of VGC dropped from 78.8 per cent to 56.7 per cent. Foreign investors showed interest in VGC’s shares, picking up 110 million, or 91.65 per cent, of the total offered shares.

    The auction helped VGC increase its chartered capital from VND3.9 trillion to VND4.4 trillion.

    The company plans to issue five per cent of its shares under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), in Q3 this year and reduce state ownership to 54 per cent. After 2020, VGC intends to reduce state ownership to 36 per cent.

    The company collected nearly VND1.5 trillion from the public sale, which will be used mainly to invest in the expansion of Yen Phong Industrial Park and to develop the new ultra-white float glass manufacturing factory and sanitaryware plant in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

    VGC currently operates two float glass factories, one in the northern province of Bac Ninh and the other in the southern province of Binh Duong, with a combined capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day, which accounts for 45 per cent of the company’s capacity.

    In sanitaryware, VGC is focused on the mid-end segment, and has a total capacity of 1.25 million sanitary appliances and 500,000 shower sets per year. This segment has recorded an average annual growth of 19.6 per cent from 2010 to 2015, and current production is at maximum capacity.

    The company plans to build a sanitaryware factory in Vung Tau with a capacity of 750,000 products per year, which would increase its total capacity to 2 million products per year.

    For its granite and ceramic requirements, VGC has three subsidiaries that have a combined capacity of 20 million sqm per year. Also, it has just acquired the My Duc ceramic factory in the southern province of Vung Tau. The plant’s first production line became operational this June.

    In the 2017-2020 period, the company plans to set up three more ceramic plants and increase its total capacity to 34 million sq.m, up 70 per cent. 

    CMC announces strategy to expand globally     

    Vietnamese technology corporation CMC on Wednesday announced its strategy to expand its reach in international markets with the foundation of CMC Global.

    CMC Global was founded with an aim of promoting the export of software and IT products, marking a milestone in CMC’s “Go Global” journey to make CMC’s digital products the leader not only in Viet Nam but also reach out to the global market.

    Hoang Ngoc Hung, deputy chairman of CMC, said: “CMC Global aims at providing leading IT products and services. CMC Global will establish its member companies in potential markets such as Japan, Singapore, and in the future, Europe.”

    Seeing the rising demand for IT outsourcing in the world coupled with the abundant IT talent in Viet Nam, CMC Global will focus on developing a talent pool and standardising software development process along with providing services.

    “CMC Global will bridge other CMC members to provide integrated solutions and services to the global market,” Ho Thanh Tung, CMC’s deputy general director, said, adding that the technology corporation expected revenue from international markets would exceed the domestic market.

    By 2020, CMC Global has targeted to have some 1,000 employees and establish branches in a number of countries.

    The two first branches will be opened in Singapore and Japan this year.

    Also on Wednesday, CMC appointed Kumeda Masakuni, 40, with 28 years of working experience in IT, as general director of CMC Japan. 

    THACO hands over 12 double-decker buses in Da Nang

    The Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) has handed over 12 double-decker buses to Da Nang as the central city bolsters its tourism offerings.

    THACO and the Empire Group held a handover and trial run of the buses for the “Coco City Tour” in Da Nang on the afternoon of July 11. Coco City Tour is a unique and impressive travel experience and appears for the first time in Da Nang.

    Double-decker buses are popular among tourists in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore for their convenience and affordability. Visitors can easily reach famous tourists sites on their own and enjoy the scenery of the city at the same time.

    Mr. Mike Norton, Director of Coco City Tour Limited Company, which is responsible for operating city tour, a world leading expert with many years of experience in city tourism, is responsible for operating the buses and has managed and operated similar services in London, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

    “Da Nang is full of advantages to develop this model strongly and I believe the Coco City Tour will bring a whole new tourism concept to the city,” he said. “While a double-decker bus tour is already a traditional tourism approach in places like London, in Da Nang we will develop Coco City Tour into a modern and interesting product for visitors to the city, contributing to the development of the tourism sector in the city in particular and in Vietnam in general.”

    “Coco City Tour is one of our strategies to realize the target of attracting more than 3 million visitors to Da Nang per year by 2020 and extend their holiday ‘One More Day’,” said Vice President of the Empire Group, Ms. Coco Tran.

    In addition to assisting Da Nang with easing its traffic congestion, Coco City Tour will also create jobs. The Empire Group will continue to develop the model in leading tourist destinations in Vietnam such as Nha Trang and Phu Quoc Island.

    FSMB to be charged of animal quarantine certification

    The Food Safety Management Board (FSMB) will replace the Department of Animal Health to issue animal quarantine certification from July 15, as per an urgent dispatch signed by Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen lately. 

    As of plan,it will still use the seal of the Department of Animal Health while waiting for the new one.

    According to the regulation, owner of live animal products must have the certification when they transport these products out of cities or provinces. The batch will be considered to be illegal without certification and inspectors will destroy it.

    The the management board was assigned some duties such as issuance of animal quarantine certification for processing factories, transportation companies.

    However, because the Department of Animal Health and the board did not work together well before, there has been a pause in the issuance of the certification which badly affected transportation of pork and chicken products into cities and provinces to supply to restaurants, retail stores, and cater companies in industrial parks citiwide.

    Capital inflows in industrial and economic zones surge in H1

    New capital inflows in industrial and economic zones nationwide in the first half were higher than in the same period last year, said the Economic Zones Management Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    According to a report of the department, as of June 20, industrial and economic zones had attracted 473 foreign-invested projects with total pledged capital of nearly US$7.3 billion, up by US$2.2 billion compared to the same period last year.

    Many of the large projects came from South Korea. Kolon Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Kolon Group, was licensed to invest US$220 million in a factory capable of annually manufacturing 36,000 tons of KVT-1 industrial fabric for automobile tires in Bau Bang Industrial Park, Binh Duong Province.

    Chairman and CEO of Kolon Industries Park Dong Moon said the company has plans to invest US$500 million in its facilities in Bau Bang Industrial Park. “We will develop a factory to turn out 6,000 tons of industrial fabric for auto tires a month. We are also considering manufacturing auto airbags there,” said Park.

    Samsung Display Vietnam’s project to expand its plant in Yen Phong Industrial Park, Bac Ninh Province with a total investment of US$2.5 billion was the largest foreign-invested project to gain approval in Vietnam in the first half.

    There were 385 domestically invested projects newly approved and nearly 140 others expanded in industrial and economic zones, with combined capital amounting to VND114 trillion (over US$5 billion). In the same period last year, domestic investments in industrial and economic zones totaled just VND14.5 trillion in nearly 450 projects.

    According to the Economic Zones Management Department, a steel mill project of Hoa Phat Group in Dung Quat Economic Zone was the largest domestic project with registered capital of VND60 trillion.

    By June 2017, the country had had 325 industrial parks, with 220 of them put into operation and the rest under construction.

    CBU auto imports from Thailand, Indonesia up in Jan-Jun

    Vietnam imported over 29,600 completely-built-up (CBU) autos worth a total of US$531.2 million from Thailand and Indonesia in the first half of this year, according to data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Vietnam purchased more than 19,000 CBU cars from Thailand with a total value of US$348 million. Indonesia came in second with around10,500 units worth a mere US$184.2 million shipped to Vietnam.

    Each of South Korea and India exported more than 5,000 units to Vietnam with a respective value of around US$93 million and US$23.7 million.

    Auto imports from Thailand and Indonesia made up a significant proportion of the total, as tariffs from ASEAN countries have been cut, with tax on vehicles of less than nine seats dropping to zero next year from the current 30%.

    Overall, Vietnam spent over US$1 billion importing around 51,000 CBU vehicles from abroad, down 15% in value and up 2.9% in volume.

    Customs officers said imports of expensive cars had been in decline, resulting in a lower import bill.

    Vietnam’s huge imports of CBU cars in the first half caused a trade deficit of US$2.5 billion with Thailand and US$340 million with Indonesia. The country also had a trade deficit with Singapore (US$1.3 billion) and Malaysia (US$600 million).

    Despite the establishment in late 2015 of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises has yet to improve much.

    Vietfood & Beverage – Propack 2017 expo to run in August

    The 21st VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines (VietFood & Beverage – ProPack) international exhibition will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City from August 9 to 12.

    Vietnamese firms account for about half of the 500 participants this year, and their key products include tea, coffee, dried fruit and beer. Some new faces, including the trucking company Fuso Co. Ltd, Auphan Solfware and Long Hau industrial park, will introduce logistics services.

    The organising board said some veteran foreign participants, including those from Chinese Taiwan, Thailand, Poland and the Republic of Korea, wish to expand their display space.

    Poland will treat visitors to clean farming solutions and fresh fruit and dairy products. The Republic of Korea will occupy 70 stalls at the fair run by enterprises producing agricultural products, financial and insurance services.

    The board named several newcomers from abroad, including the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and France.

    Workshops will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition, with discussions covering food & beverage retail in Vietnam and management skills for businesses in the sector, among other topics.

    Nhan Co alumina plant officially operational this month

    Nhan Co alumina processing plant in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong will be officially put into production this month, according to project investor Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin).

    An inspection team of the Ministry of Industry and Trade has visited two alumina projects, namely Nhan Co in Dak Nong Province and Tan Rai in Lam Dong Province, says a Tuoi Tre newspaper report.

    Vinacomin said that during test production, the plant’s products have been exported to China, South Korea and Japan and might be shipped to Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries in the coming time.

    According to the investment plan, Tan Rai bauxite mining and alumina processing project would incur losses in the first four years. Vinacomin however said that in the first half of 2017, the project gained over VND60 billion (over US$2.64 million) in after-tax profit.

    Meanwhile, as of July 3, 2017, Nhan Co alumina plant had produced nearly 33,000 tons of hydrate and nearly 164,000 tons of alumina.

    General director of Vinacomin Dang Thanh Hai said the group will continue upgrading technology, complete an online environment monitoring system and strengthen sludge reservoirs.

    Binh Loi rail bridge behind schedule

    Binh Loi rail bridge over the Saigon River may be completed by May 2018, one year behind schedule, said Phan Van Duy, deputy director of the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration.

    Work on the project to rebuild the bridge of the north-south railway began in April 2015 and was planned to be complete in two years. With a total length of 1.3 kilometers, including approach roads, the bridge will have a vertical clearance of seven meters, up from the previous 1.5 meters, allowing larger ships to cross beneath.

    During an inspection of the progress of the project by Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia yesterday, Duy said only three concrete supports on the side of Binh Thanh District and two others on the side of Thu Duc District have been completed. The remaining supports should be completed within 10 months to open the bridge to traffic in May next year.

    The biggest impediment to the project is that 28 households in Binh Thanh District have not been relocated as they have not agreed on compensation rates, making it impossible to build an access road to the bridge.

    Minister Nghia stressed the early completion of the bridge would help strengthen the capacity of train services, facilitate waterway transport between HCMC and neighboring Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, as well as the southern key economic zone, and reduce road traffic congestion.

    More Vietnamese tourists prefer hi-end hotels

    The number of Vietnamese tourists choosing to stay at four and five-star hotels and resorts during their holidays and business trips has been on the rise in the last three years, according to a report of Grant Thornton Vietnam Co Ltd.

    The report on hotel services shows 20.4% of domestic tourists stayed at hi-end hotels in 2016, up 3.4% versus 2014.

    Higher ratios were seen at hotels in central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan, HCMC and southwestern provinces. Those in the northern region were lower.

    Tao Van Nghe, deputy general director of Liberty Group, told the Daily that more Vietnamese tourists tend to stay at hi-end hotels.

    John Gardner, general director of Chains Caravelle Hotel Joint Venture Company Ltd, said Vietnamese businessmen are among its patrons.

    Tony Chisholm, general manager of Pullman Saigon Centre and area general manager for southern Vietnam at Accor, said the group is seeking to attract Vietnamese customers. Accor targets to have 40-45 hotels and resorts by 2019 and haft of them are aiming at serving the Vietnamese.

    Vietnam to amend four tax laws

    The Ministry of Finance is collecting opinions to amend four tax laws in a way that adjusts preferential treatment for enterprises.

    The ministry will complete proposed revisions to the VAT, corporate income tax, personal income tax and special consumption tax laws by October and submit them to the National Assembly next year.

    In the past, the ministry and local tax offices proposed amending the personal income tax and value added tax laws.

    A tax expert told the Daily that tax offices should have solutions to ensure fairness in tax payment between large cities such as HCMC and Hanoi, and other parts of the country.

    Japan aid sought for Hanoi-Vientiane expressway

    The Embassy of Japan in Vietnam will look into the feasibility of the planned Hanoi-Vientiane expressway before it could ask the Japanese Government to weigh a loan for the project.

    At a meeting on Tuesday with the envoy of the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, Katsuro Nagai, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said the project connecting the Vietnamese and Lao capitals would help push up bilateral trade between Vietnam and Laos.

    The four to six-lane road, approved by the two governments, will start in Vientiane, pass through Pakxan of Laos, Vietnam’s Thanh Thuy border gate, Nghe An and Ninh Binh Provinces, and end in Hanoi.

    Deputy Minister Tho proposed Japan lend to Vietnam through organizations such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Nagai said Japan would learn more about traffic flow and payback capacity.

    Vietnam and Laos are seeking funds from foreign sources to develop the project.

    Vietnam's Transportation Design Consultancy Corporation (TEDI) has done the pre-feasibility study for the 760-kilometer expressway. After it is in place, it might be extended to Thai capital Bangkok and Myanmar’s Naypyidaw.

    Regarding Vietnam-Laos cooperation in traffic infrastructure projects, the Ministry of Transport and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed an agreement in October 2015 to do the feasibility study for a rail link between Vung Ang of Ha Tinh Province and Laos’ Vientiane.

    Vientiane-Hanoi expressway and Vung Ang-Vientiane railway would become important transport links with ASEAN countries and the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

    Those routes would improve the transport system in the region and promote trade exchanges among ASEAN countries, particularly between Vietnam and Laos.

    Tax debt rockets to VND75.5 trillion

    Total tax debt had amounted to around VND75.5 trillion by May 31, a 1.9% rise against late last year, according to the General Department of Taxation under the Finance Ministry.

    Collectibles account for VND48.2 trillion, and uncollectibles for the remainder.

    The department said tax officers had worked hard to collect VND22.07 trillion since the end of May, accounting for 46.7% of the total debt as of late 2016.

    Tax agencies at all levels conducted inspections into more than 36,600 local companies, and successfully forced them to pay around VND7.64 trillion in the first half of this year. The amount sent to the State budget totaled VND3.43 trillion.

    Total value-added tax (VAT) refunds to the State Treasury were VND53.3 trillion in the six-month period.

    The department is striving to collect at least 97% of the tax debt which had been incurred since early last October or before. Notably, it pledges not to make the debt exceed 5% of total tax revenue at the end of this year.

    HCM City to host security, fire safety, rescue exhibition     

    The International Fire Safety and Rescue Technology and Equipment Exhibition and Conference, or Fire Safety and Rescue Vietnam – Secutech Vietnam 2017, will be held in HCM City in August.

    The country’s largest exhibition in the field of security, fire protection, safety and rescue will feature 460 booths set up by 270 exhibitors from 18 countries including the US, UK, India, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and China.

    Speaking at a press briefing in HCM City on July 13, Major General Đỗ Minh Dũng, deputy director of Việt Nam Fire and Rescue Police Department, said the expo would feature advanced technologies and products that could be used in industrial parks, transportation, banks, buildings and others, including surveillance systems, alarms, access-control systems, biometrics, and others.

    Leading local and international players like Aikang, Advantech, Bosch, BVND, CBID, Dahua, Dmax, Dong A Fire tech, Draeger, EN3, Everdigm, Firex, Hải Thịnh, Hanwha Techwin will take part.

    The event will offer local and international manufacturers of security and safety products the opportunity to explore opportunities provided by the increasing demand for security, including fire safety and modern rescue equipment.

    The Ministry of Public Security, Việt Nam Fire and Rescue Police Department and other organisations will organise the 19th Asia Fire-protection Inspection Council Conference, seminar on fire prevention and fighting and the Global Digital Safety Forum on the sidelines of the expo.

    Organised by the Việt Nam Fire and Rescue Police Department, Việt Nam Advertisement and Fair Exhibition Joint Stock Company and Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, the exhibition at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from August 16 to 18 is expected to receive 10,000 visitors. 

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNEVET


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  • 07/16/17--02:32: Article 0
  • State to divest capital from Sabeco, Habeco via open tenders


    The State will divest its capital in the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) and the Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Habeco) through open tenders.


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    The information was released at the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s press conference on July 14.


    Deputy head of the ministry’s Light Industry Department Bui Truong Thang said that Habeco will submit its State capital divestment plan to the ministry next week, while Sabeco will table it before July 31. 

    At present, the State is holding 89.59 percent and 82 percent of capital of Sabeco and Habeco, respectively.

    Together the two beer producers account for about 60 percent of the domestic market share, with Sabeco making up 40 percent of the market share.

    Also at the press conference, a representative from the ministry said that the ministry has to date submitted divestment and equitisation plans of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) and the Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) to the Government. 

    Meanwhile, the plan of the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group will be submitted within this month.

    Deputy Minister Do Thanh Hai asked for close supervision during the equitisation process to avoid asset losses.

    Regarding the case on violations of Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Ho Thi Kim Thoa, he said that Thoa would likely be disciplined as the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission had viewed her wrongdoings as serious. The Ministry will announce the disciplinary measure publicly when it is issued.

    According to the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission, while holding the position as Party Committee Secretary and Director of Dien Quang Lamp Company from January 2004 to May 2010, Thoa violated regulations on business equitisation and procedures and illegally handles loan interest exempted from banks worth 6.7 billion USD (some 298,000 USD).

    She also violated State regulations on land management when the Dien Quang Company signed a contract to jointly invest in land in HCM City with Vietnam Investment Construction Trade JSC without agreement from the land owner and relevant authorities. She did not report relevant authorities to handle while illegally handled revenue worth 30 billion VND (1.3 million USD) from transferring the rights to exploit the land slot.

    Thoa also bought shares exceeding allowed levels and violated Dien Quang Company’s regulations on share transfer.

    VNA


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  • 07/17/17--01:40: Article 1
  • Foreigners may be allowed to deposit savings in Vietnam


    According to a draft circular of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), foreigners will be permitted to deposit savings in VND and foreign currency at commercial banks in Vietnam.


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    This draft circular is now in the process of taking comments from relevant agencies.

    The central bank argues that the permission is a measure to prevent “hot money flows,” or flow of funds from one country to another to earn short-term profit on interest rates differences, from entering the exchange market. It is also a way to ensure the legal rights of non-residents present in the country, it said.

    Under this circular, legal foreign persons present in Vietnam in the form of branches, representative offices, executive offices, operation offices, diplomatic missions and consular representations can deposit under certain terms to serve their activities in Vietnam as non-residents.

    Non-residents are individuals who are present in Vietnam, including foreigners residing in Vietnam for less than 12 months; foreigners studying, treating diseases, traveling or working for representative offices, executive offices, operation offices, diplomatic missions and consular representative agencies of foreign legal persons in Vietnam.

    According to the State Bank of Vietnam, the regulations allowforeigners to deposit savings in VND, foreign currency at commercial banks in order to limit hot capital flows and speculation in the money market, as well as guarantee legal benefits for non-residents who are present in Vietnam.

    To deposit savings at commercial banks in Vietnam, non-resident foreigners can only use VND, foreign currency in their VND and foreign currency payment accounts. This regulation aims to ensure compliance with the policy of developing non-cash payment and foreign exchange management objectives, facilitating the management and supervision of state management agencies.

    Experts said that if this circular is issued, it will be a big step forward. Because in an era when the "flat world" and "global citizens" are trends, barriers in livelihoodamong nations must be removed.

    The draft, released on July 4, has thus far received positive feedback from commercial banks and other credit institutions. Directors at a majority of the banks consider the circular a significant improvement over previous regulations, the SBV has reported. They said the new rules can help attract another source of capital and utilise idle capital from expatriates working in Vietnam.

    Furthermore, by allowing foreigners to switch from using a current account in VND or foreign currency to using term deposits, authorities will also find it much easier to control the flow of capital from this group.

    It is hoped that with interest rates on deposits in foreign currencies at zero percent, the five to eight percent interest rates for deposits in VND will motivate more people to deposit their savings in the local currency.

    At present, the SBV is trying to alleviate pressure on interest rates by increasing liquidity in the money market.

    This has happened because the central bank has purchased more foreign currencies to increase its reserves, according to a second quarter report by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR).

    Nguyen Nam, VNN


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  • 07/17/17--02:44: Article 0
  • Quang Liem records amazing win over reigning world rapid chess champion


    Vietnam’s no. 1 chess player Le Quang Liem impressively defeated reigning world rapid chess champion, Vassily Ivanchuk, after 41 moves in the seventh round of the ongoing 8th Hainan Danzhou Super Grandmaster Chess Tournament in China on July 16.



    Quang Liem has remained unbeaten for 51 consecutive matches in the standard chess category.

                                       

    Ivanchuk (elo 2,729) was on the offensive for the majority of the match, but Liem (elo 2,726) maintained a resilient and effective defence.

    As it seemed to be heading towards another draw for the Vietnamese GM, Liem seized the opportunity as Ivanchuk made mistake in move no. 37 and finished off the most experienced competitor in the tournament, for his second win so far.

    Ivanchuk once beat “chess king” Magnus Carlsen (Norway) in last year’s world rapid chess championship and is also one of the most respectable masters in the current world chess circle.

    The surprising victory contributes to Liem’s total of 4.5 points after seven rounds, just one point behind the leader, Chinese Wei Yi (elo 2,738), who was held to a draw by Azerbaijan’s Arkadij Naiditsch.

    In the eighth round scheduled for later today, Le Quang Liem will play white against Chinese Lu Shanglei (elo 2,638), the bottom-placed player with 1.5 points, which presents a good chance for the Vietnamese star to pocket another full point ahead of the decisive clash between himself and Wei Yi.

    The Super GM tournament, which is taking place in Danzhou, China from July 9 to 18, is one of the most anticipated annual sporting events in Hainan province. Since its inception in 2010, the tournament has always attracted the top chess masters from across China.

    A total sum of US$60,000 is up for grabs in this year’s event, with the top three finishers to receive respective stakes of US$20,000, US$11,000 and US$7,000.

    Results of Round 7 matches:

    Le Quang Liem 1-0 Vassily Ivanchuk

    Lu Shanglei 0-1 Wang Hao

    Wei Yi ½ - ½ Arkadij Naiditsch

    Ruslan Ponomariov 1-0 Vladimir Malakhov

    Ding Liren ½ - ½ Yu Yangyi

    Nhan Dan


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  • 07/18/17--02:25: Article 3
  • Combo tours favored as travelers save money


    Marketed later than other tourism products, combo tours have quickly become the favorite choice for travelers as they can reduce costs.


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    Ngoc Minh from HCM City, for example, only had to spend VND11.8 million on a 3-day-and-2-night tour to Phu Quoc Island for a four-member family.

    The amount of money was paid for two combo tours worth VND5 million for each, which comprises six meals, a shuttle service (from airport to resort), and a 3-day stay at a 5-star resort and entertainment services in the resort. There was no charge for the two kids’ meals and stay. Minh only had to pay VND1.8 million in air tickets for the kids.

    If she had booked services separately, the amount of money would have been VND2 million more, because the admission tickets to entertainment area and service fees are expensive in summer.

    The combo tour Minh booked is one of the hottest ones in the market. This mostly comprises air/train and coach tickets, hotel room, pick-up service, meals and other additional services.

    Marketed later than other tourism products, combo tours have quickly become the favorite choice for travelers as they can reduce costs.

    Resorts, especially 4-5 resorts in coastal areas of Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Vung Tau and Phu Quoc, are the most wanted destination points for travelers who book tour packages. Meanwhile, online tourism websites are the pioneers in launching combo tours.

    They understand travelers, who want to travel by themselves, have private holiday time, but don’t have to spend much time to arrange things.

    According to Nguyen Vi Van, regional director of iVIVU.com, travelers don't favor package tours because they have to follow fixed schedules.

    If they design tours themselves, they will have to spend time looking low-cost air tickets, book hotel rooms and coaches.

    Therefore, combo tours prove to be the optimal choice because they have good prices.

    Since last July, when the website began selling combo tours, it has designed 30 combo tours to many coastal destinations.

    The salesman of a resort in Phan Thiet also reported the same thing. As the resort is located from the Ham Tien – Mui Ne tourism site, it is inconvenient for travelers to find places for food and drinks.

    The resort decided to offer a combo tour comprising tickets for train/coach and meals at reasonable prices. Thanks to the combo tour, the number of clients has increased sharply.

    Phan Thi Thu Hien from Exo Travel Vietnam believes that it is the right time for combo tours. However, she said there should be many more types of combo tours rather than ones with just meals, accommodation and pick-up services.


    Chi Mai, VNN


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  • 07/18/17--02:34: Article 2
  • Vietnam imports 51,000 vehicles for $1.04 billion


    Vienam spent US$1.04 billion to import some 51,000 various vehicles in the first half of this year, according to statistics of the General Department of Viet Nam Customs.


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    The graphic of auto exports to Viet Nam.


    The figure was up 2.9 per cent in volume but down 15 per cent in value.

    The number of vehicles with nine seats or less reached 26,600 units worth $449 million, marking an increase of 30.1 per cent in volume and 13.5 per cent in value year-on-year.

    Indonesia ranked the top exporter of cars with nine seats or less to Viet Nam, with 8,900 units at total value of $171 million, up 66 times in volume and 103 times in value year-on-year. The average price was $19, 300 each.

    It was followed by Thailand with 6,600 units worth $105 million, or $15,800 each on average, and India with 5,000 units worth $21,000, or $4,200 each on average.

    Meanwhile, Viet Nam imported 338 cars with nine seats or more during the first half of this year at total value of $10 million, declining by 31 per cent in volume and 30.5 per cent in value compared with the same period last year. Japan took the lead with 190 units worth $5 million.

    The country’s auto part manufacturing industry also had a good opportunity to participate in the production chain in ASEAN since its rival Thailand faced a shortage of skillful workers, according to analysis of experts, quoted by online newspaper VnExpress.net.

    Chris Humphrey, executive director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council based in Singapore, said Vietnamese producers had not only been reinforcing their position in the domestic market but also expanding exports, especially in its traditional market of ASEAN. The outlook for auto parts and components was therefore optimistic.

    He said once the tariff barrier was lifted under the ASEAN free trade agreement in early 2018, it would allow Viet Nam to produce parts and accessories to serve the auto industry in other countries in the region, citing the example of Thailand, a country lacking skilled workers.

    Kasinee Phantteeranurak, project manager at leading Asian event organiser Reed Tradex Co., Ltd., said the European Union, Japan, South Korea and the United States were potential markets for Viet Nam. However, they were high-ranking manufacturers, therefore their demand in terms of quality, stability and accuracy was very high. 

    VNS

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  • 07/18/17--02:48: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 18/7


    Ha Long Bay airport set to open next spring

    If you’ve always fancied a trip to Ha Long Bay but are not a fan of road travel, a new option is floating in the distance.

    Local officials have announced that an international airport near the bay will be opened at the end of March next year, according to a Hanoi Moi report.

    The airport, also the first private facility in Vietnam, will land on Van Don Island around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the famous bay.

    Official details are not yet available, but the US$330 million project is designed to receive two million arrivals a year by 2020, and there are plans to expand the capacity to five million by 2030.

    Vietnam’s government approved the project in 2014. A group of South Korean investors was originally assigned to build the airport, but after an early exit in 2015, local real estate conglomerate Sun Group took over.

    Another Vietnamese company is also developing a US$2 billion casino complex on the island.

    Ha Long Bay was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.

    Visitor numbers rose 23% on-year from January-March to 944,000, including more than 800,000 foreigners, according to official figures.

    The bay was used to film the recent Hollywood blockbuster "Kong: Skull Island", and has ben raved about by many travel bloggers.

    Fish, fishery exports to Japan could reach levels not seen since 2014

    According to the latest statistics from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters, fish and fishery exports for Vietnam to Japan during the six months leading up to July tallied in at US$590 million.

    If exports for the second half remain as strong as the first— fish and fishery exports for the year could touch as high US$1.18 billion, just shy of the total exports for 2014 of US$1.21 billion. 

    Meanwhile, the Association is urging its members to get in compliance with the country’s laws governing food safety and hygiene or risk being shut out of the lucrative rebounding Japanese market.

    According to a newly issued Decree 55, which became effective July 1, commercial fisheries must comply with several conditions as spelled out in the statute, said Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of the Association.

    These are the minimum standards that the government deems essential to ensure fishery products entering commerce are safe for human consumption and will meet the rigid requirements of both the Vietnamese and Japanese market, among others.

    Most notably fisheries must implement the new regulations and technical standards on food safety as stated and be certified by the pertinent government authorities for their local province as having complied.

    The certification is designed to meet the requirements of markets like the US, EU, China and Republic of Korea, which require the Vietnam government to furnish a list of companies eligible to export to it, said Le Anh Ngoc.

    Mr Ngoc, who is the deputy head of quality assurance at the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, said the Japanese market differs in the sense that it does not require the list but alternatively directly inspects all consignments of fish and fishery products at port of entry.

    In the past, far too many Vietnamese shipments of fish and fishery products did not pass muster with Japanese inspectors for excessive levels of antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, enrofloxacine, and sulfadiazine.

    The new Decree 55 specifically targets rectifying this problem, noted Mr Ngoc.

    In 2016, the total fish and fishery imports for the globe totalled US$109.6 billion with Japan listed as the second largest importer at US$10.8 billion behind the American market at US$16.4 billion, according to the best estimates available.

    Meanwhile, Vietnamese fish and fishery exporters shipped approximately US$1 billion of products to the Japanese market, which shows that there is a massive potential market in Japan for the segment.

    Or stated another way, the Vietnam fish and fishery segment could grow by US$9 billion or nine-fold in just the Japanese market alone— if it were the sole foreign supplier, a monumental potential for growth. 

    Vietnam considers allowing foreigners to open savings accounts

    The State Bank of Vietnam is drafting a new circular that will allow non-residents with presence in the country to make deposits in both the Vietnamese dong and foreign currency at local banks without residency requirement.

    The central bank is soliciting feedback for the proposal, which will benefit foreign individuals or organizations working and living in Vietnam, even though they have no permanent resident status.

    Under the current law, non-residents in Vietnam have to meet strict requirements to be able to save their money at local credit institutions.

    For deposits in the Vietnamese dong, foreigners have to provide such documents as work permit, labor contract and salary statement. In the meantime, local banks only accept savings in foreign currency for expats who have lived in Vietnam for at least 12 months and whose visa remains valid.

    Under the proposed law, the non-residents will be able to start depositing at local banks using money from their payment accounts.

    The relaxed rule will contribute to the country’s policy of encouraging cashless payment and the management over the foreign currency market, according to the central bank. It will help curb the monetary speculation on the market and ensure the legal rights and interest for non-residents that have presence in Vietnam.

    Local experts have hailed the proposition, saying that if really implemented, the rule will allow local banks to attract the idle funds from the expat community in Vietnam.

    According the draft circular, the non-residential organizations are branches, representative offices, diplomatic agencies and consulates in Vietnam.

    The individuals with no residence are foreigners who work for the above entities; those who are on business, healthcare or travel trips in Vietnam; and who stay in the country fewer than 12 months.

    Ho Chi Minh city supports startups

    Ho Chi Minh City has established a number of support and consultancy centers to help startups as part of its startup support program. The establishment of more than 20,000 enterprises in the first half of this year has proved the effectiveness of this program.

    here are several co-working spaces in Ho Chi Minh City including Start, WORK Saigon, Cityhub, TheVentures, and Dreamplex. In June, the Ho Chi Minh City Center of Supporting and Enterprises Development launched a Startup Co-Working Space to provide a new, professional, modern, convenient, and friendly working place for startup enterprises. 

    Covering more than 800 square meters, the co-working space provides businessmen with free access to business management software, internet services, air-con, desks and chairs, refreshment bars and a reception area. 

    On a weekly or monthly basis, the center organizes workshops and training courses at which experts help businesses improve their management skills or learn about new legislations, and help business access capital and take advantage of trade promotion activities in the city. The Startup Co-working Space draws many startups.

    Huynh Thi My, Secretary General of the Vietnam Plastic Association said “This is a cozy, exciting, and good working place for start ups. I believe that enterprises here will reap a lot of success.”

    Ho Chi Minh City has supported approximately 440 startup projects and 670 enterprises and business groups, increased links between investors, and organized a number of trade exhibitions. 

    The Speedup 2017 Program that supports Startups has received 76 innovation startup projects. In the first half of this year, 20,000 enterprises with a total registered capital of VND276 trillion received business licenses.

    Mr. Tran Vinh Tuyen, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee said “We try to help enterprises with specific programs, not just capital and marketing. We created a mechanism to encourage enterprises to help one another, enterprises with capital and experience to help startup enterprises.”

    Through such activities, Ho Chi Minh City hopes to have 50,000 enterprises established this year.

    Thaco Truong Hai Chu Lai, the most successful business in Quang Nam

    14 years after the Prime Minister signed a decision establishing the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, many factories have been built there, making it a key economic zone in the central region. Thaco, one of the first companies to invest in the zone, is Vietnam’s largest car-maker.

    In 2003 when Chu Lai Open Economic Zone was still barren land, the Truong Hai Automobile Company (Thaco Truong Hai) decided to build a plant there.

    Pham Van Tai, Thaco’s Deputy Director said “14 years ago, we decided to invest in Chu Lai because it fit the company’s development strategy. At that time Chu Lai was Vietnam’s first open economic zone, offering the best preferential policies compared to other economic parks. Chu Lai had a large area of land suitable for Truong Hai to build automobile and automobile auxiliary plants.”

    Thaco leads the domestic market thanks to its strategic vision. Last year, Truong Hai assembled more than 112,000 automobiles worth US$774 million. The company contributed US$629 million to the provincial budget, nearly 70% of the total.

    Pham An, Deputy Director of the Management Board of Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, said that after 14 years Truong Hai’s area has expanded to 600 hectares, including a logistics centre, car and component factories, a vocational school, and a seaport. It employs 9,000 workers, 600 of them engineers.

    “Truong Hai has 24 factories. It currently manufactures and distributes models for Kia of the Republic of Korea and Mazda of Japan. Over the years, especially in 2015 and 2016, Chu Lai Truong Hai contributed greatly to the growth of the province and Chu Lai Open Economic Zone,” An said.

    Thaco has developed a strategic target of becoming a leading Vietnamese multi-sectoral Industry Group in ASEAN. It will focus on constructing the Truong Hai-Chu Lai Mechanical Automobile Industrial Zone through a joint venture with partners with advanced technologies. It will increase technology transfer, invest in the support industry to increase the localization rate, and participate in global value chains by exporting automobile parts and components that meet international requirements.

    Mr. Tai said “All leaders of the company are well aware of the need to cut waste to reduce prices for consumers, particularly in 2018 when the tariff on CBU (Completely Built-Up) cars imported from ASEAN will be slashed to 0%. Price-cutting forces us to increase the localization rate, which is also the government’s expectation. To realize that goal, we must renew our technologies through joint ventures with major firms who will transfer technology to us.”

    Thaco has created jobs for thousands of workers in Nui Thanh district. Thaco’s achievements are partly due to great support from the government and the Quang Nam administration.

    Dinh Van Thu, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said “Thaco has been a success in Quang Nam with its production of automobile components and assembly. Quang Nam has spoken highly of Truong Hai’s efforts and determination over the past years. Thaco’s current localization rates for buses, trucks, and cars have significantly contributed to the development strategy of Vietnam’s automobile industry. Quang Nam strongly believes in the success of Thaco in developing Vietnam’s automobile industry. Quang Nam wants to make Truong Hai-Chu Lai Mechanical Automobile Industrial Zone a national multi-purpose mechanical center and will submit that proposal to the government.”

    In 2017, Truong Hai intends to produce 117,000 cars and contributed US$686 million to Quang Nam’s budget.

    Vietnam, Turkey end trade talks on positive note

    The 7th Turkey-Vietnam Joint Economic Council Meeting has ended on a positive note with the negotiations having laid the foundation for greatly expanded trade and investment links, according to a statement by the Turkish Labour Ministry.

    vietnam, turkey end trade talks on positive note hinh 0 In the July 13 statement, Turkish Labour Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu noted that his country’s trade with Vietnam totalled nearly US$1.96 billion in 2016 with exports of US$234 million and imports of US$1.73 billion. 

    That figure he said in the statement is now expected to double by 2020 to nearly US$4 billion.

    Muezzinoglu said that after two days of negotiations in the Vietnam capital city of Hanoi, major decisions were taken concerning bilateral trade on several fronts including talks on a free trade agreement.

    He noted he is confident that a proposed free trade agreement to be signed between the two economies will make a significant contribution to their bilateral commercial relations.

    The Minister emphasized that Turkey was in a strategic position between Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia while Vietnam has emerged as a very important logistics centre in Southeast Asia.

    In addition, he said that many important decisions were concluded with respect to negotiations on matters related to customs, agriculture, visas, defence, forestry and water.

    Hanoi sees 8 percent rise in visitors

    Hanoi has welcomed approximately 12 million visitors since the beginning of 2017, up 8 percent from the same period last year, and earned a revenue of more than 35.2 trillion VND (1.55 billion USD), up 13 percent.

    According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the city’s international arrivals rose by 14 percent to over 2.3 million.

    The capital city has taken a set of measures to be named among the world’s top tourist destinations. 

    It has focused on developing new high-quality tourism products and accelerating tourism promotion campaigns. It has also worked to improve local infrastructure for tourism and involve the private sector in investing in the tourism industry.

    However, there are very few large recreation areas and resorts for weekend getaway in the city that are attractive enough to make the tourists stay longer and spend more. In addition, a majority of local travel agencies are small businesses that have yet to establish international reputation. Service quality and environmental issues also remained as big challenges.

    To attract more holiday makers, Hanoi plans to increase cooperation with businesses and localities across the country as well as those from overseas and provide training for service providers and those working for tourism authority at all levels, particularly in terms of communications skills.

    It will also send inter-sectoral teams to inspect tourism activities in the city and strictly handle violations.

    Hanoi is among the top 10 destinations in the 2017 Summer Travel Trends selected by Airbnb, a US-based accommodation sharing application. 

    Airbnb said Hanoi is attractive to holiday-makers as its boasts historical relic sites and special cuisine.

    This year, the city aims to welcome 23.61 million travellers, a year-on-year increase of 8 percent. 

    Suitable financial, monetary policies needed to promote growth

    Management agencies need to focus on financial and monetary policies besides long-term solutions such as restructuring the economy, reforming State-run businesses, and developing private economy to promote economic growth in the remaining months of this year, heard a workshop in Hanoi on July 14.

    Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong said the business and investment environment improved in the first six months of 2017 with the expansion of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth, stable macro-economy and curbed inflation.

    Some restrictions such as high public debts, ineffective operation of State-run companies, and unsustainable growth of private businesses should be addressed, he said.

    According to economists from the Academy of Policy and Development under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, financial and monetary policies are on the right track but they fail to catch up with reality.

    Therefore, relevant agencies need to improve the management efficiency, especially the responsibilities of individuals and leaders, participants said.

    They evaluated that the exchange rate controlling policy of the State Bank of Vietnam is suitable with the economic reality, noting that if the exchange rate is not controlled, it will pose negative impacts on the economic growth.

    Experts suggested curbing the exchange rate amplitude between 2-3 percent to stabilise the monetary market.

    According to Can Van Luc, a financial and monetary expert, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is likely to increase interest rates once more time in 2017 and twice in 2018. 

    The pursuant of high economic growth target in the short run at home and the lack of sustainable growth momentums will pose a lot of risks to the macro-economy and the financia-banking system in the long term.

    He recommended taking measures to expand money supply and credit growth at a reasonable level of 16-18 percent in 2017, while speeding up the restructuring of financial credit and handling of bad debts.

    Meanwhile, Nguyen Thac Hoat, a representative from the financial and monetary faculty of the Academy of Policy and Development, emphasised the need to take strong actions in the coming months to achieve growth target.

    It is necessary to improve the management of exchange rates and maintain low interest rates, he noted.

    Other experts suggested monitoring the credit quality and strengthening management of budget collection.

    Trade minister asks for diplomats’ help in expanding export markets

    Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has asked heads of Vietnam’s overseas representative agencies to pay greater attention to seeking markets for Vietnamese products.

    At a meeting in Hanoi on July 14 with the heads of Vietnam’s overseas representative agencies for the 2017-2020 tenure, Minister Anh said along with expanding markets for Vietnamese goods, Vietnam’s diplomatic agencies abroad should also provide more information to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to help it build practical policies for the formation of sustainable production and export chains.

    Currently, Vietnam has 21 export staples with value of 1 billion USD upwards, but the country has yet to build a value chain, thus export growth has yet to be sustainable, he said, expressing hope that the diplomats pay special attention to the two major markets of the US and EU. 

    At the same time, they should seek opportunities to export more goods to China to narrow the trade gap, he said.

    The minister also pointed to challenges the industry and trade sector is facing, and called for support and cooperation from diplomatic agencies.

    Vietnamese Ambassador Designate to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh affirmed that the heads of diplomatic agencies abroad will cooperate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, while working hard to contribute to the fulfillment of this year’s growth target of 6.7 percent.

    Thua Thien-Hue achieves GDP growth of 7.44% in first half

    The central province of Thua Thien-Hue recorded a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 7.44 percent in the first half of 2017, much higher than the figure of 5.8 percent in the same period last year.

    Statistics revealed at the fourth meeting of the provincial People’s Council on July 13-14 showed that the total social investment in Thu Thien-Hue reached 8,538 billion VND (376 million USD), while the state budget collection hit 3,308 billion VND (145.55 million USD), accounting for 48.3 percent of the yearly target.

    In 2017, the province has focused on investing in infrastructure to serve production and economic development while protecting the environment, ensuring social welfare and addressing consequences caused by the marine environment incident.

    Thanks to the province’s efforts to improve its investment and business environment and provide incentives for investors, 324 enterprises were set up in the period, with a combined registered capital of 3,772 billion VND (166 million USD), up 17.8 percent in volume and 3.65-times higher in value.

    The locality also lured 21 domestic projects with total investment of over 2.2 trillion VND (96.8 million USD), and two foreign investment projects worth 64,850 USD.

    The industrial production index rose 13.45 percent from a year yearlier, mainly buoyed by an increase of 2.24 times in electricity production and other key goods, including cement, garment-textiles and material construction.

    In the reviewed period, Thua Thien-Hue welcomed 1.75 million arrivals, including 414,500 international visitors, up 1.9 percent and 6.76 percent year on year, respectively. The tourism sector earned 1,735 billion VND (76.34 million USD), up 8.3 percent from 2016.

    In the remaining months of this year, incentives will also be offered to craft villages, cooperatives while revising legal framework to maintain domestic flights, accelerating the launch of more domestic and international flights, and developing other facilities.

    The province will provide support for investors in building infrastructure at local industrial parks, building a garment-textile supporting industrial park in Phong Dien district while focusing on agricultural development and new-style rural area building.

    In 2017, the province set a GPD growth target of between 8-8.5 percent, mobilise total investment of 19 trillion VND (836 million USD), and collect 6,856 billion VND (301.66 million USD) for the state budget.

    Dong Nai welcomes 2 million visitors in six months

    The southern province of Dong Nai served over 2 million visitors in the first six months of this year, generating revenues of nearly 640 billion VND (28.16 million USD), a respective rise of 9.4 percent and 12 percent year on year.

    Of the total visitors, 1.9 million were domestic tourists and nearly 100,000 were foreigners, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

    The committee attributed the rise to successful efforts in calling for investment in developing tourism products such as the cable system in Chua Chan mountain, the Lang Tre tourism area, along with Cat Tien Jungle Lodge Resort, Suoi Mo park and Vuon Xoai and Buu Long tourism areas.

    At the same time, Dong Nai has chosen a number of large tourism projects for further expansion, including the Dong Nai Natural Reserve and the Buu Long tourism area.

    The province is calling for investors to develop tourism on Tri An Lake, river tours between Bien Hoa-Vinh Cuu and the Da Ton Lake ecotourism area, while expanding transportation infrastructure system to improve access to major tourism destinations.

    Le Kim Bang, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the province targets 3.4 million tourists and tourism revenue of 1.14 trillion VND (50.17 million VND) in 2017.

    RoK tops the list of foreign visitors to Thua Thien-Hue

    The central province of Thua Thien Hue welcomed 414,500 international visitors in the first half of this year, up 6.76 percent year-on-year, with tourists from the Republic of Korea (RoK) topping the list.

    In the period, over 97,000 Koreans visited the central locality, accounting for 26 percent of the total.

    Acknowledging the increasing number of Korean visitors, the province’s investors and enterprises are paying attention to upgrading My An and Thanh Tan hot springs, which is a favourite service for Korean and Japanese tourists.  

    Tran Viet Luc, head of the tourism development studies desk under the provincial Department of Tourism, said that the department has plans to invite Korean experts to help local businesses in selecting tourism products attractive to visitors from this market.

    During January-June, the province’s tourism sector served a total of 1.75 million tourists, earning more than 1.7 trillion VND (76.34 million USD), up 1.9 percent and 8.3 percent from the same period last year, respectively.

    This year, it aims to draw between 3.3-3.5 million tourists, with 40-45 percent being foreign visitors, generating 3.2-3.3 trillion VND (140.7-145.1 million USD), up 8 percent in number and 3 percent in revenues from 2016.

    Binh Phuoc eyes hi-tech agricultural cooperation with Japan

    The southern province of Binh Phuoc wants to cooperate with Japan in developing hi-tech agriculture, said a local official.

    Speaking at a meeting with the Murayama Memorial Japanese Language School (JVPF – Murayama)’s HCM City branch on July 14, Secretary of the provincial Party’s Committee Nguyen Van Loi expressed his hope that the school will serve as a bridge connecting the province with Japanese enterprises in training human resources and sharing experience in developing smart agriculture.

    Director of the school’s HCM City branch Vu Quang Luan suggested the province send local students to Japan to learn about hi-technology agriculture, while Japanese farmers share with the locality their hands-on experience in the field.

    The school will enhance cooperation in training and connect with relevant organisations to better consume local farmers’ products, Luan said.

    Loi urged agencies and sectors to facilitate the flow of Japanese investments into the province, particularly in hi-tech agriculture.

    Currently, over 1,000 hectares have been zoned off for hi-tech agriculture in Loc Ninh, Hon Quang districts and Dong Xoai township to lure foreign and domestic investors.

    JVPF – Murayama is a Japanese language training centre supported by the Japan-Vietnam Peace and Friendship Promotion Council (JVPF) with former Japanese Prime Minister Murayama as its president.

    HCM City’s IPs draw US$384 million in investment

    Export processing zones and industrial parks in Ho Chi Minh City attracted about US$384 million in investment in the first six months of 2017, up 39% year on year, including nearly US$160 million of foreign investment, a rise of 24%.

    Nguyen Tan Phuoc, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZA), said that the increase in investment was attributed to the upgrade and expansion of infrastructure systems in local industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones (EPZs).

    Convenient transportation that is connected to seaports, airports and other localities is also a reason behind the success, along with achievements in administrative reform that have reduced the time for processing administrative documents by 20-50%, he said.

    Le Hong Tuoi, head of HEPZA’s Office for Investment Support and Supervision, said that the Republic of Korea was the leading investor in local IPs and EPZs, making up 55% of the total investment, followed by Taiwan and Japan.

    The food, supporting industry for the garment-textile sector, services and chemicals attracted most of the major projects in the first half of this year, he said.

    Tuoi also revealed that in the rest of the year, the city will focus on speeding up the construction of plants and encouraging firms to develop infrastructure to remove difficulties in terms of ground and business spaces.

    Meanwhile, the city will work to draw more investors, thus fulfilling its annual target of US$500 million in investment.

    So far, IPs and EPZs in the city has accommodated 1,461 valid projects worth US$9.7 billion, including 551 foreign-invested projects with a total capital of US$5.5 billion.

    Vietnamese clothiers, shoemakers eye Australia for expansion

    Australia has a high standard of living and a population among which there is a strong demand for quality products from Asia, North America and Europe, said speakers at a recent trade conference in Hanoi.

    The land Down Under can also be viewed as a pilot market for Vietnamese clothing and footwear companies with an ardent desire to expand their exports and create a global brand for themselves, said Julie Holt.

    Ms Holt, who is the director of the Australia International Exhibition and Conference Group, noted this is because an increasing number of Vietnamese companies that hope to get a toehold in the US market someday use Australia as a test zone.

    The investment needed by a clothier or shoemaker to expand its footprint in Australia is much more limited than that required for the US and the models of consumption are very similar.

    The proximity of Vietnam to Australia is also of benefit to keeping costs such as freight, insurance and other miscellaneous expenses less than they otherwise would be trying to gain market entry into the US, added Ms Holt.

    Most importantly, she said, clothiers and shoemakers need to be aware that Australians value innovative, products made in an environmentally friendly manner as well as healthy products and are willing to pay more for these goods, which stands in stark contrast to Vietnamese consumption habits.

    Australians, much like Americans, are also very receptive to imported products.

    It is a multicultural nation with more than 170 different nationalities whose diversity is continually growing. Approximately 92% of the population is of European origin (mostly English, Irish, Scottish, Italian and Greek), with 7% of Asian origin and 1% who identify as Indigenous Australian.

    The language spoken is English and a Vietnamese company must have staff on board that can speak the language fluently to communicate with consumers, other vendors and readily grasp regulatory laws and regulations if it expects to have any chance at successful market entry.

    Australians also prefer higher value quality products made from Australian wool, said Ms Holt, so it is important for clothiers to know all about what yarns to buy, how to dye wool, and finish fabrics or garments made from it.

    This is a change from the cotton, acrylic and polyester materials that many Vietnamese companies are used to incorporating into their products.

    Tran Thi Van from the Dong Xuan Knitting Company in turn said her company has had a great amount of success selling clothing made of wool in Australia over the past few years.

    Ms Van noted that her company is currently heavily involved in establishing a supply chain focusing on purchasing wool directly from Australia for processing and reexporting finished products back to the land Down Under.

    Ms Van specifically was happy to report that the wool products her company sells in Australia command a premium sales price.

    Ms Van added that there is tremendous upside for clothiers and shoemakers in the Australia market as the current trade figures are miniscule in relation to their full potential.

    According to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first quarter of 2017, Vietnamese clothing and footwear sales in Australia were only US$42 million and US$50 million, respectively, a tiny fraction of the expansive market.

    The internet loves this flowery Saigon ice cream. Do you?

    Opened in January this year, Roseice Saigon has a flowery surprise for ice-cream lovers in Saigon: delicious, cold gelato in the shape of a colorful rose.

    The shop has quickly won the hearts of young Saigonese with its beautiful roses with different flavors in each petal.

    Earlier this week, Insider Dessert catapulted Roseice Saigon to a new level by posting a video on its Facebook page showing how its cool, colorful roses are made.

    “Booking my flight to Vietnam,” Matt Greenberg wrote on Facebook, while Manisha Masani told her friends: “This is the next ice cream craze we need to try.”

    If you happen to be in Saigon now, check out this ice cream shop at 64-66 Ngo Duc Ke Street in District 1 and tell the world what you think about this Saigonese version of rose ice cream.

    Fish, fishery exports to Japan could reach levels not seen since 2014

    According to the latest statistics from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters, fish and fishery exports for Vietnam to Japan during the six months leading up to July tallied in at US$590 million.

    If exports for the second half remain as strong as the first— fish and fishery exports for the year could touch as high US$1.18 billion, just shy of the total exports for 2014 of US$1.21 billion. 

    Meanwhile, the Association is urging its members to get in compliance with the country’s laws governing food safety and hygiene or risk being shut out of the lucrative rebounding Japanese market.

    According to a newly issued Decree 55, which became effective July 1, commercial fisheries must comply with several conditions as spelled out in the statute, said Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of the Association.

    These are the minimum standards that the government deems essential to ensure fishery products entering commerce are safe for human consumption and will meet the rigid requirements of both the Vietnamese and Japanese market, among others.

    Most notably fisheries must implement the new regulations and technical standards on food safety as stated and be certified by the pertinent government authorities for their local province as having complied.

    The certification is designed to meet the requirements of markets like the US, EU, China and Republic of Korea, which require the Vietnam government to furnish a list of companies eligible to export to it, said Le Anh Ngoc.

    Mr Ngoc, who is the deputy head of quality assurance at the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, said the Japanese market differs in the sense that it does not require the list but alternatively directly inspects all consignments of fish and fishery products at port of entry.

    In the past, far too many Vietnamese shipments of fish and fishery products did not pass muster with Japanese inspectors for excessive levels of antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, enrofloxacine, and sulfadiazine.

    The new Decree 55 specifically targets rectifying this problem, noted Mr Ngoc.

    In 2016, the total fish and fishery imports for the globe totalled US$109.6 billion with Japan listed as the second largest importer at US$10.8 billion behind the American market at US$16.4 billion, according to the best estimates available.

    Meanwhile, Vietnamese fish and fishery exporters shipped approximately US$1 billion of products to the Japanese market, which shows that there is a massive potential market in Japan for the segment.

    Or stated another way, the Vietnam fish and fishery segment could grow by US$9 billion or nine-fold in just the Japanese market alone— if it were the sole foreign supplier, a monumental potential for growth. 

    Vietnam considers allowing foreigners to open savings accounts

    The State Bank of Vietnam is drafting a new circular that will allow non-residents with presence in the country to make deposits in both the Vietnamese dong and foreign currency at local banks without residency requirement.

    The central bank is soliciting feedback for the proposal, which will benefit foreign individuals or organizations working and living in Vietnam, even though they have no permanent resident status.

    Under the current law, non-residents in Vietnam have to meet strict requirements to be able to save their money at local credit institutions.

    For deposits in the Vietnamese dong, foreigners have to provide such documents as work permit, labor contract and salary statement. In the meantime, local banks only accept savings in foreign currency for expats who have lived in Vietnam for at least 12 months and whose visa remains valid.

    Under the proposed law, the non-residents will be able to start depositing at local banks using money from their payment accounts.

    The relaxed rule will contribute to the country’s policy of encouraging cashless payment and the management over the foreign currency market, according to the central bank. It will help curb the monetary speculation on the market and ensure the legal rights and interest for non-residents that have presence in Vietnam.

    Local experts have hailed the proposition, saying that if really implemented, the rule will allow local banks to attract the idle funds from the expat community in Vietnam.

    According the draft circular, the non-residential organizations are branches, representative offices, diplomatic agencies and consulates in Vietnam.

    The individuals with no residence are foreigners who work for the above entities; those who are on business, healthcare or travel trips in Vietnam; and who stay in the country fewer than 12 months.

    Making agriculture attractive to today’s youth

    Having experienced months of negative growth due to drought, climate change, floods and saltwater intrusion, the local agriculture segment is demonstrating its inability to serve as a cornerstone of the country’s economy.

    The segment can be largely characterized as farmers and processors who lack a good education, technical expertise and money to invest in the high technology that would allow them to compete profitably in the modern day global marketplace.

    To be certain, the future of agriculture relies on its ability to attract the educated youth of today and create appropriate opportunities for them to participate and shape the agriculture of tomorrow.

    While policy makers and industry leaders have long recognized this potential, its translation into significant benefits for previously marginalized groups, like the youth, has been far too slow.

    Successfully giving effect to activities that will encourage and support more youth entering agriculture hinges on the ability of the young to fully understand the challenges that the country faces and let them shape the solutions on how best to respond.

    To this end, there have been a series of seminars, workshops and surveys throughout the country during the first six months of the year directed at obtaining an understanding of the perceptions and attitudes of the youth regarding agriculture.

    The insights provided by these events play a critical role in allowing policy makers and industry leaders to customize programs to best support young people’s involvement in the segment.

    Interestingly, some of the observations and data collected suggest that far too many young lack information and exposure to the industry. Many of the more highly educated youth said they did not know what agriculture was or what it entailed.

    While others associated agriculture only with subsistence farming, demanding work, and being poor.

    Almost all the highly educated youth said they had little knowledge of opportunities in the segment, nor an adequate understanding of the variety of career choices across the agricultural value chain.

    Most of youth preferred a career in one of the tertiary segments, over a career in agriculture.

    The tertiary segment of the economy provides services to its consumers, which includes a wide range of businesses such as financial institutions, schools and restaurants.

    It was also revealed that youth by and large were unfamiliar with the main challenges associated with agriculture, which are a shortage of arable land, a lack of access to capital, insufficient industry information, climate change, and an overall lack of interest by society in general in the industry.

    There was a pervasive view among young people as well as older individuals that agriculture in Vietnam is largely an industry for uneducated individuals who do not require proper training.

    As a result, educated youth tend to view agriculture as not a first choice for a career but as their last option, and consequently focus their energy on finding employment in the corporate sphere.

    These impressions support the proposition by many public officials and industry leaders that there is much work to be done in repositioning the agricultural segment to become more attractive to the nation’s youth.

    The agricultural value chain must transform to become far more integrated and accommodating to a diverse array of transferable skills, knowledge and expertise that these youths possess.

    Technology has and will continue to revolutionize the segment, with many cutting-edge farmers already implementing precision farming methods to enhance their yields and better manage farming processes.

    Farmers of the future will be using apps, drone technology and will require other innovative solutions to overcome age-old challenges.

    With the youth already predisposed to technology through the high penetration of smartphones in this country and increasing access to the internet, they are truly best placed to take advantage of these exciting opportunities within the industry.

    It rests with policy makers and industry leaders to show the youth of today how traditional farming methods are becoming integrated with our digitized lives throughout the agricultural value chain and convince them that agriculture is an attractive career choice.

    Indonesia's Jababeka Group eyes investment in central Vietnam

    Indonesia's Jababeka Group visited four central localities in Vietnam, namely Danang, Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue, and Quang Tri from July 10-13 to seek investment opportunities.

    At meetings with local authorities, the visit focused on the possibilities of investing in urban areas, industrial parks (IPs), and modern services in these localities, which are the pioneers of IP development.

    At a meeting with Quang Tri leaders, Budianto Liman, CEO of Jababeka Group, expressed interest in investing in Dong Nam Economic Zone (EZ), which is offering high incentives.

    At present, many projects in Dong Nam EZ are awaiting the outcome of the My Thuy International Seaport project, which is still seeking government approval. 

    About 10 projects have been registered in the EZ with a total investment capital sum of VND62.3 trillion (US$2.83 billion), focusing on seaport services, thermo-power, energy, and infrastructure.

    In Thua Thien-Hue, the Indonesian group is keen on investing in an urban, industrial and service complex project in Chan May-Lang Co EZ and IPs.

    At present, incentives on offer at EZs are considered the highest of their kind in Vietnam. 

    The incentives include a CIT exemption for the first four years after generating taxable income, a 50% reduction in CIT for the next nine years, and a 10% CIT for the first 15 years of operation.

    As the first publicly listed industrial estate developer in Indonesia, Jababeka is a leading industrial estate developer in Southeast Asia. 

    Its famous projects include Kota Jababeka, Kendal Industrial Park, Park by the Bay, and Tanjung Lesung.

    Ho Chi Minh city supports startups

    Ho Chi Minh City has established a number of support and consultancy centers to help startups as part of its startup support program. The establishment of more than 20,000 enterprises in the first half of this year has proved the effectiveness of this program.

    There are several co-working spaces in Ho Chi Minh City including Start, WORK Saigon, Cityhub, TheVentures, and Dreamplex. In June, the Ho Chi Minh City Center of Supporting and Enterprises Development launched a Startup Co-Working Space to provide a new, professional, modern, convenient, and friendly working place for startup enterprises. 

    Covering more than 800 square meters, the co-working space provides businessmen with free access to business management software, internet services, air-con, desks and chairs, refreshment bars and a reception area. 

    On a weekly or monthly basis, the center organizes workshops and training courses at which experts help businesses improve their management skills or learn about new legislations, and help business access capital and take advantage of trade promotion activities in the city. The Startup Co-working Space draws many startups.

    Huynh Thi My, Secretary General of the Vietnam Plastic Association said “This is a cozy, exciting, and good working place for start ups. I believe that enterprises here will reap a lot of success.”

    Ho Chi Minh City has supported approximately 440 startup projects and 670 enterprises and business groups, increased links between investors, and organized a number of trade exhibitions. 

    The Speedup 2017 Program that supports Startups has received 76 innovation startup projects. In the first half of this year, 20,000 enterprises with a total registered capital of VND276 trillion received business licenses.

    Mr. Tran Vinh Tuyen, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee said “We try to help enterprises with specific programs, not just capital and marketing. We created a mechanism to encourage enterprises to help one another, enterprises with capital and experience to help startup enterprises.”

    Through such activities, Ho Chi Minh City hopes to have 50,000 enterprises established this year.

    Reference exchange rate down as week begins

    The daily reference exchange rate for VND/USD was set at 22,437 VND on the first day of the week (July 17), down 8 VND from the last day of the previous week. 

    With the current trading band of + /- 3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,110 VND and the floor rate 21,764 VND per USD. 

    The opening hour rates at commercials saw slight fluctuations. 

    Vietcombank cut both rates by 10 VND from July 14, buying the greenback at 22,690 VND and sell at 22,760 VND. 

    The same rates were listed at BIDV, also down 10 VND from the rates listed on July 14. 

    Meanwhile, Techcombank kept both rates unchanged at 22,680 VND (buying) and 22,780 VND (selling).

    Son La-grown green mango to be shipped to Australia

    Five tonnes of Son La-grown green mango will be shipped to Australia weekly by Agricare Vietnam Company after its first successful shipment of one tonne to the country. 

    This is the “tuong” mango variety grown in the northern mountainous province of Son La, said Dam Quang Thang, Director of Agricare Vietnam, adding that his company decided to invest in green mango as this kind of fruit has not been popular in Australia. 

    To date, only two local cooperatives in Chieng Hac commune, Yen Chau district and Hat Lat commune, Mai Son district have been granted area codes to grow green mango for export to Australia. 

    If the green mango is sold well in Australia, the Plant Protection Department will work with Son La authorities to issue codes for other mango planting areas. Meanwhile, Agricare Vietnam will support farmers in production to ensure the product constantly meets strict requirements of the Australian market. 

    Son La is home to 4,000 hectares of mangoes with 3,000 tonnes in yield.

    Vinamilk eyes 80 trillion VND revenues by 2021

    The Vietnam Dairy Products Joint-Stock Company (Vinamilk) sets a goal of earning 80 trillion VND (3.52 billion USD) in total revenue in 2021, according to its General Director Mai Kieu Lien.

    Revenue from the domestic market is expected at 61 trillion VND (2.68 billion USD), making up of 75 percent of the total, while the remaining at 19 trillion VND (866 million USD) is hoped to come from overseas markets.

    The company’s annual revenue growth rate in the domestic market is projected at 10 percent, she said.

    In 2017 only, Vinamilk targets total revenue of 51 trillion VND (2.26 billion USD), up 8 percent against the previous year and a post-tax profit of over 9.7 trillion VND (438.6 million USD), a year-on-year increase of 4 percent. 

    To achieve the goals, Lien said the company has given priority to enhancing milk quality by opening an organic dairy farm in Da Lat city, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong in the first months of this year. 

    With total investment of over 200 billion VND (8.8 million USD), the farm has more than 500 cows in the initial stage, which will increase in the coming time. It is also Vietnam’s first organic dairy farm to be certificated with European standard.

    Domestic trade expected to keep rising later this year

    Domestic trade is expected to continue rising this year, experts have forecast. 

    Total retail and services value this year is estimated to hit 3.9 trillion VND (168.7 million USD), up more than 10 percent annually, meeting the yearly target. 

    To that end, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will embark on 71 projects and a domestic market development scheme in combination with the campaign “Vietnamese people prioritise Vietnamese goods” for 2014-2020. 

    It will also promote domestic trade, particularly during the New Year holiday and the year’s end, refine trade and distribution infrastructure and develop supply chains with a focus on farm produce. 

    MoIT statistics showed that total retail and services value hiked 10.16 percent to 1.9 trillion VND (83.65 million USD) in the first half.  

    Trade experts said exclusive of inflation, total retail and services value increased about 8.4 percent, higher than 4.8-7.6 percent from 2011-2016, showing that purchasing power is recovering.

    VNN


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  • 07/18/17--02:55: Article 0
  • Prolonged downpours turn Hanoi streets into rivers


    Heavy downpours brought about by storm Talas have submerged multiple streets in Hanoi, causing difficulty for commuters and local residents.


     

    Students push their bicycles through flooded Thuy Khue Street in Hanoi on July 17, 2017..Tuoi Tre

    Typhoon Tala made landfall in the north-central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh on Monday morning, bringing torrential rain to the capital.

    With the downpours lasting several hours, multiple streets including Thuy Khue, Nguyen Khuyen, Doi Can, Phung Hung, Truong Chinh and Giai Phong were heavily inundated.

    In Cau Giay, Nam Tu Liem, Thanh Xuan, and Ha Dong Districts, severe flooding resulted in the breakdown of many motorcycles.

    Water submerged several homes in some locations, causing severe hardship for the residents inside.

    The rain remained heavy until Monday evening.

    Meanwhile, in Ho Chi Minh City, light rain and strong winds were noticeable throughout the day.

    According to Le Dinh Quyet, deputy head of the Southern Hydro-meteorological Station, the storm covered a radius of 200 to 300 kilometers.  
    A car travels on a severely inundated street in Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    A man rides his motorbike through the floodwater. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    Commuters push their motorbikes after they broke down due to the flood. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    A tow truck rescues a taxi breaking down in the middle of the flooded street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    Houses in Hanoi are submerged by the flood water. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 07/19/17--02:59: Article 4
  • Luxury segment booms despite very high prices


    The quick sale last week of Titia Residences in the Empire City project has again borne out the attractiveness of the luxury segment.


    Luxury segment booms despite very high prices, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    More than 1,000 customers registered to buy an apartment at Titia Residences in the first five booking days, at prices starting from US$4,000 per square meter. Some 80% of this number completed the process to become owners of apartments in this landmark project.

    Titia Residences attracted many foreigners – the 30% maximum foreign-owned share in the project ran out in the opening days of sale.

    According to a recent report from CBRE Vietnam, the luxury segment’s supply is increasing and the segment proves to be attractive to customers.

    Dung Duong, director of Research and Consulting at CBRE, predicted that another luxury apartment project in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 will be launched very soon, at a price of US$8,000-10,000 per square metre.

    “This price will be the highest ever in Vietnam,” Duong said. “This level would be equal to luxury apartments in Bangkok (from US$7,000-10,000 per square metre) and half that of Singapore (from US$20,000-25,000 per square metre).”

    The supply of luxury apartments has been growing to meet the demand of wealthy buyers, which has also been on the rise.

    In the last two years, luxury apartments started to be introduced in the city at prices from US$5,000-8,000 per square metre. Developers are reserving the golden land areas in the heart of the city for luxury projects.

    Many of these projects are centred in District 1. The Saigon One, invested by Capella Holding, sold for US$5,500-6,000 per square metre.

    Madison, invested by Novaland, sold from US$5,500-7,000 per square metre. Charmington, invested by Sacombank, is slated to be sold at US$5,500 per square metre, while Saigon Tower is estimated to be able to fetch US$7,000 per square metre.

    In Hanoi, D’Le Roi Soleil, invested by Tan Hoang Minh, sold from US$4,000-5,000 per square metre, Vinhomes Metropolis, invested by Vingroup, sold from US$4,000 per square metre, and Sun Grand City Thuy Khue Residence of Sun Group sold at US$5,000 per square metre.

    According to Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, there are more and more luxury apartment projects appearing, even outside of the central business district. A recent project in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2 is selling at US$5,000 per square metre.

    “Luxury apartments are increasingly in demand by wealthy buyers, who are demanding a very high standard, not the brokers or investors,” Chau said.

    He added that the demand for luxury apartments in Vietnam is now at 0.001% of the population, compared to 1% in the US.

    According to CBRE Vietnam, luxury apartments in Vietnam in 2016 rated at US$4,000-9,000 per square metre.

    This level was the highest of the last 12 years. However, this price is cheaper than that in other cities like Singapore or Bangkok.

    A project considered luxury level must meet many strict criteria, such as an in-demand location, and the reputation of the developers, contractors, designers, and even the operators after they are put into operation.

    VIR


    0 0
  • 07/19/17--03:00: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 19/7


    Can Tho city pledges optimal conditions for RoK investors

    The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho is willing to create the best possible conditions for companies from the Republic of Korea (RoK) to invest and do business in the locality, a municipal official has said. 

    Truong Quang Hoai Nam, Vice Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee, told a investment promotion and networking seminar between Vietnamese and RoK firms on July 17 that Can Tho regards the RoK as a strategic partner. 

    He listed the RoK’s major investment projects in the city such as the LOTTE Mart commercial centre, the CGV cinema system and Taekwang footwear factory. 

    The most noteworthy is the industrial technology incubator project worth 22 million USD between the Vietnamese and Korean Governments at Tra Noc 2 Industrial Park in O Mon district, Nam said. 

    Operational since 2015, the incubator has proven to be effective, helping meet demands of Vietnamese farming businesses and attract foreign investors to Vietnam, according to the official. 

    Nam expressed his hope that through the trip, the Korean trade association, which hosted the event with the municipal People’s Committee and the Can Tho Business Association, will encourage firms from the RoK and other countries to invest in the locality. 

    He said between 2018-2020, Can Tho will call for domestic and foreign investments in priority sectors, including infrastructure in industrial parks, transport and tourism infrastructure, high-tech agriculture and agricultural product and seafood processing.  

    Attention will be paid to luring the flow of RoK investment to raise the city’s provincial competitiveness index, he noted. 

    Hwang Eun Sik, chairman of the Korean trade association, said his association and most RoK investors and enterprises have a high opinion of the business environment in Can Tho. 

    He voiced his belief that as an economic centre of the Mekong Delta and with advantages in transport, plus complete commercial infrastructure and abundant human resources, Can Tho will become an attractive destination for RoK businesses. 

    The association will do its utmost to accelerate the implementation of cooperation projects between the city and the RoK, especially those in information-technology (IT), industry and solar energy, he pledged. 

    Responding to the Korean side’s proposals, Nam said the city will send trade promotion delegations to the country to call for more investments in high-tech agriculture, IT, manufacturing industry and machine manufacturing for agricultural products and seafood processing for exports. 

    The city will also help the two sides’ business seek cooperation opportunities in trading products like rice, seafood, garments-textiles, pharmaceutical materials and fertilisers, thus spurring economic growth of Can Tho and the Mekong Delta, he said.

    Thua Thien-Hue revokes licences of 37 delayed projects

    The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has so far revoked investment licences of 37 projects due to prolonged delay in implementation. 

    A majority of those projects (21) are in the Chan May-Lang Co economic zone and local industrial parks. 

    One example is the Lang Co golf course which was initially scheduled to be put into operation in July 2016 but so far not a single construction item has been done. 

    Another one is the Bai Chuoi resort which was 74 months behind schedule.

    The province has made public delayed projects along with cases of violations of land laws on its electronic portal and websites run by provincial departments and sectors. 

    It will strengthen inspections of investment projects after granting licences and take firm measures to deal with delayed projects.

    Since 2000, Thua Thien Hue has licensed 548 investment projects with total registered capital of 168.2 trillion VND (7.4 billion USD), of which 92 are foreign-invested at a total value of 2.62 billion USD. 

    Among the licensed projects, 285 have become operational and 180 others are under construction.

    Vietnam, RoK enhance energy cooperation

    Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) boast huge potential cooperation in energy development, especially clean energy, said a RoK expert.

    Yeo Sungku, Director of the Energy Valley Enterprise Development Institute (EVEDI), made the statement at a Vietnam-RoK investment forum held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ho Chi Minh City Branch (VCCI-HCM) on July 17.

    He said that RoK’s energy industry possesses strengths in clean energy production and high-quality technologies while Vietnam’s demand for energy is high and will be on the rise. 

    Therefore, boosting cooperation between Vietnam and RoK enterprises in the field will help create an energy supply-demand chain to serve the development of both countries, he added.

    Talking about advantages of RoK energy firms, Director of BA Energy Company Choi Jiwon said RoK businesses have not only paid attention to producing energy but also seeking solutions to maximise energy saving. 

    Developing technologies, materials and equipment using natural and renewable power for sustainable development is a priority of RoK firms in their cooperation plans with Vietnamese counterparts, he noted.

    VCCI-HCM Director Vo Tan Thanh said Vietnam is looking for solutions for energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly energy, which are advantages of RoK companies, to ensure sufficient supply and environmental protection.

    Vietnam and RoK have jointly launched cooperation programmes in thermoelectricity, renewable energy, nuclear energy and energy saving in recent years, he said.

    Strengthening partnership between Vietnamese and RoK enterprises will contribute to lifting up value and sustainability of their trade and economic ties, Thanh added.

    Ca Mau moves to expand shrimp export market

    The southernmost province of Ca Mau aims to seek more export markets for its shrimp products through intensifying trade promotion activities as an effort to realise the locality’s export target of 1.1 billion USD in 2017.

    The locality is coordinating with ministries, sectors to prepare a shrimp festival in 2018. 

    Attention will be also paid to building brand name for shrimp products and expanding domestic consumption. 

    According Chau Cong Bang, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ca Mau continues accelerating agriculture restructuring in the direction of improving added value of products and promoting sustainable development. 

    The locality focuses on expanding shrimp-farming models with high-productivity meeting VietGap, GlobalGap and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards in order to produce clean materials for processing for-export shrimp products. 

    Local seafood processing enterprises will be assisted in applying new technologies to better the quality of their products in order to satisfy the demand of each import market.

    In the first six months of this year, Ca Mau’s export turnover hit nearly 420 million USD, up 3.3 percent against the same period last year, mainly contributed by shrimp shipments to the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Australia, China, Europe and other markets.

    Vietcombank receives approval to set up bank in Laos

    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has approved the establishment of the Vietcombank Laos Limited (Vietcombank Laos) in Laos, which is wholly invested by the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank).

    Vietcombank Laos is headquartered in Vientiane, with a charter capital of US$80 million.

    Vietnambank Laos must be launched within 24 months since the SBV’s approval and Vietcombank is asked to submit a report to the central bank at least 14 days before the opening of the bank.

    Earlier, the State Bank of Vietnam also approved the establishment of Vietcombank’s representative office in New York, the US.

    Daiwa-SSI invests in CVI Pharma’s ambition

    CVI Cosmetic & Pharmaceutical Co., JSC (CVI Pharma) is partnering with Japanese Daiwa-SSI to venture further into the high-tech field with the ambition of becoming one of the top ten drug producers in Vietnam in the next five years.

    In early July, CVI Pharma got a licence to develop a factory in Hoa Lac High-Tech Park (HHTP). The facility valued at nearly VND300 billion ($13.6 million) will have an area of 1.1 hectares.

    "This is CVI Pharma's first wholly-invested plant that will deal with all steps of the production of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Once put into operation in 2018, the factory will standardise technical barriers, helping the firm to better meet the demands of its target market," Phan Van Hieu, chairman of CVI Pharma, told VIR.

    "2017 will mark a milestone for CVI Pharma in the years to come, as Daiwa-SSI has decided to acquire 20 per cent of the company. The Japanese fund will help us connect with potential Japanese and Taiwanese partners, thus enabling us to approach new technologies and export products to these markets," he added.

    Established in 2013, when the local pharmaceutical market was already dominated by large-scale Vietnamese pharmaceuticals, such as Traphaco (TRA), Domesco (DMC), and DHG Pharma (DHG), thanks to their strong distribution networks and brand names, CVI Pharma has decided to focus on niche markets to establish itself in the highly competitive market.

    "In our product strategies, we avoid market segments where the giants are holding the majority stakes. For example, in the over-the-counter (OTC) market, there are five market segments with revenue of over VND1 trillion," he added

    CVI Pharma has been focusing on new high-tech applications to increasing the value of its herbal products. Extraction and nano technology were named in the prioritised development list in the high-tech industry approved by the prime minister.

    Currently, CVI Pharma's domestic partner in production is Mediplantex. The firms have recently inaugurated a new factory in Quang Minh Industrial Park in Hanoi, which has the most modern South Korean technology-equipped capsule production assembly lines with a capacity of 1.2 million capsules a day.

    This year, CVI pharma will continue to cooperate with research and development centres and institutes, as well as senior scientists to study a set of standards for CVI Pharma products to meet international standards, thus enabling it to penetrate markets like Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan as well as others in Southeast Asia.

    "We will continue to focus on the OTC market in the future. At present, we have a distribution network spanning 63 cities and provinces with a portfolio of 12 products, including six key products, like Nano Curcumin," he said.

    With an annual growth rate of 30-50 per cent, CVI Pharma has nearly 9,000 drugstores as regular customers. It plans to introduce two new products to the market in the first quarter of 2018.

    CVI Pharma made VND150 billion ($6.8 million) in revenue in 2016 and the firm aims to double the figure to VND300 billion ($13.6 million) in 2017.

    "We plan to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the next three-to-four years and then list in the stock market. We aim to become one of the top ten drug producers in Vietnam in the next five years, with revenue of VND1 trillion ($45.45 million)," Hieu noted.

    Australia initiates VN’s wind towers on dumping     

    The Anti-Dumping Commission of Australia (ADC) has initiated an investigation into alleged dumping of wind towers imported from Viet Nam.

    The investigation follows an application lodged by Australian wind tower manufacturers Keppel Prince Engineering Pty Ltd and Ottoway Fabrication Pty Ltd.

    The investigation will examine transactions that took place from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016.

    The application alleges that goods were exported to Australia from Viet Nam at prices less than their normal value and that the dumping has caused material injury to the Australian industry.

    ADC estimated a dumping margin on VN’s wind towers is 15.7 per cent and ADC may apply temporary anti-dumping duties but not earlier than 60 days since the initiation date of June 8, 2017.

    A statement of essential facts will be placed on the public record by September 26, 2017 and interested parties have 20 days to response to this statement.

    Prior to this, in 2014, Australia also had a dumping investigations on wind towers imported from China and Republic of Korea (RoK), with dumping duties on China’s exporters at 15 - 15.6 per cent and on RoK’s ones ranged from 17.2 to 18.8 per cent.

    RoK, VN eye energy partnerships     

    A delegation of executives from 17 energy start-ups nurtured by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) met with their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City on July 17 to explore business opportunities.

    The Korean companies specialise in products like fire-proof sound- absorbing wall panels, knife-switches, electric panels, solar LED security lights, lithium polymer batteries, electric bicycle batteries, charge connectors, energy storage, uninterruptible power supply devices, and hybrid power solutions.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the 2017 Kepco Energy Startup in HCM City on Monday, Sung-Ku Yeo, president of the Energy Valley Enterprise Development Institute (EVEDI), said the visiting companies this time had been carefully selected from among energy start-ups across South Korea. They have all developed important energy-saving technologies, he said.

    In Viet Nam, they want to introduce their technologies, share experience and seek business co-operation with Vietnamese enterprises, he said.

    Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City chapter, said demand for energy to fuel Việt Nam’s strong economic development is one of the top priorities of the Government and a lucrative sector for investors.

    But the current challenge is to produce energy to meet the demand and at the same time safeguard the environment, he said.

    In this context, energy-saving, efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions are key, he said, adding that Korean start-up companies have focused on developing them.

    David Choi of BA Energy Co Ltd said there is huge potential for Viet Nam and South Korea to co-operate in the energy sector, and the event was an ideal platform for his company as well as others on the trip to access the Vietnamese market.

    Thanh said South Korea’s investment in Viet Nam had tripled between 2012 and 2016 to US$50 billion. Bilateral trade doubled in the period to $42.8 billion.

    In the field of energy, the two countries have many co-operation programmes in thermal power, renewables, energy-saving initiatives and others, with Kepco in particular undertaking many large projects in Viet Nam.

    The event was organised by the VCCI in collaboration with EVEDI and the Korea Electrical Manufacturers Association. 

    Tata Power proposes renewable energy plant in Phu Yen     

    Tata Power Ltd from India proposed to implement a renewable energy project in the central province of Phu Yen, during a meeting with provincial leaders last week.

    This was reported on the province’s website, phuyen.gov.vn.

    At the meeting, Tran Huu The, vice-chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, spoke highly of Tata Power’s desire to invest in the region. Phu Yen is committed towards facilitating foreign investment, The said, expressing his confidence that the Indian firm would develop the renewable energy project successfully.

    Tata Power Ltd, an affiliate of the Tata Group, is one of the leading businesses in India in the power sector. Earlier, the company was granted permission by the Government to build the Long Phu 2 thermal power plant, expected to cost US$2 billion, in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Soc Trang. With a capacity of 1,320 MW, the Long Phu 2 plant is expected to become operational in December 2020. 

    Over 8,000 construction firms set up in H1     

    As many as 8,200 construction enterprises were established in the first six months of this year, according to statistics of the Ministry of Construction (MoC).

    This number accounted for 13.4 per cent of newly-established enterprises nationwide, up 10.7 per cent over the same period in 2016, of which 2,300 firms operated in the real estate sector.

    MoC is currently focusing on speeding up the restructuring and renovation of State-owned enterprises in the 2016-2020 period. The equitisation of four corporations -- Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUD), Song Da Group, Viet Nam Cement Industry Corporation (VICEM) and Viet Nam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Investment Corporation (IDICO) -- will continue.

    The real estate sector in the first half of 2017 continued to maintain stable growth, reflected through the stability in price, transaction quantity, liquidity and declined inventory, MoC said, adding that the structure of goods was adjusted to better fit the diverse needs of the market.

    According to statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in H1, the real estate sector ranked fifth in terms of FDI attraction, with 39 newly-registered projects worth US$461.7 million. 

    Central bank helps clear collateral confusion     

    Le Minh Hung, Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) submitted a request to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) last week, asking for clarification regarding the use of automobiles as banking collateral and the legal rights of credit institutions and borrowers.

    The SBV reported receiving multiple complaints from credit institutions and companies recently, stating that traffic police refused to accept copies of vehicle registration certificates in place of the originals which had been submitted to secure loans.

    Further confusion arose when a bank-issued confirmation of the vehicle’s use as collateral was not accepted either by traffic police.

    The situation has inconvenienced creditors, banks and other credit institutions as not holding the original documents of collateral ownership increases risks to them, which may lead to them ceasing to accept automobiles as collateral.

    This would make it harder for citizens and businesses to get loans, while at the same time not allowing credit institutions to hold either the collateral or its certificate of ownership incurs significant risk.

    To fix this, the SBV has requested the MPS to instruct traffic departments to accept copies of vehicle ownership certificates in place of originals, provided drivers can produce legal confirmation of collateral from credit institutions.

    Hung had asked the MoJ to adjust related decrees and submit a replacement decree to the Government, permitting creditors to hold any papers related to the collateral as negotiated with the borrowers and in accordance with the 2015 Civil Code.

    Bui Quang Tin, lecturer at the HCM City Banking University, commented that these efforts are being applauded by commercial banks, since there is virtually no way to return all certificates of ownership to each individual borrower. Borrowers are happy to have the confusion cleared up as well, especially those who paid for their vehicles in installments.

    Banks have held original certificates of ownership for collateral for years, with borrowers receiving a confirmation to use in its place. A check up is performed every three months to monitor the collateral and the loan eligibility.

    FLC contributes $101.2 million to State budget     

    Property developer FLC Group contributed more than VND2.3 trillion (US$101.2 million) to the State budget in the 2015-16 period.

    FLC said it employeed over 5,000 people, thus contributing to the country’s scoio-economic development.

    The group’s representative office also said FLC often used 1-2 per cent of its after-tax profit to implement corporate social responsibility activities nationwide, including scholarships for poor students, building schools in remote and mountainous areas and house for the poor.

    FLC is highly appreciated by local authorities for its large tourism and entertaiment resort complexes in Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc and Sam Son, as well as Quang Binh, Binh Dinh provinces, which have contributed to Viet Nam’s tourism growth.

    The complexes received thousands of tourists from both inside and outside the country, increasing budget collection for localities and creating jobs.

    In June, the municipal People’s Committee honoured FLC for its contribution to the city’s economic development in 2016. FLC has been investing in a range of estate projects, including FLC Landmark Tower, FLC Complex Tower, FLC Green Home, FLC Ecohouse Long Bien and FLC Star Tower. 

    CC1 to trade 110 million shares on UPCoM     

    The Construction Corporation No 1 Joint Stock Company (CC1) will float 110 million shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on July 20.

    The company’s shares will start trading at VND14,200 per share, making its market capitalisation VND1.1 trillion.

    CC1 has 49.5 million shares that are untradeable until October 31, 2021 as they were sold to a strategic investor at the company’s initial public offering on July 20, 2016.

    CC1 was transformed to a joint stock company on November 1, 2016 and became a public firm on April 12, 2017.

    The company’s major business activities are construction of industrial and civil buildings, foundations and infrastructure for urban areas and industrial zones.

    The company has five subsidiaries and 10 associate firms, including the Dong Nai Bridge Investment and Construction JSC and the Dak R’tih Hydropower JSC, in which CC1 has 72.5 per cent and 40 per cent stakes.

    In 2015, CC1 posted net revenue and post-tax profit of VND5.6 trillion (US$248.6 million) and VND298 billion, respectively. The figures for 2016 were VND6.62 trillion and VND211 billion.

    CC1 targets net revenues and post-tax profits for 2017 at VND4.66 trillion and VND110 billion, while the expected numbers for 2018 are VND4.93 trillion and VND152 billion.

    IFC seals convertible loan of $57m to VPBank

    IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, recently approved a convertible loan of US$57 million to Việt Nam Prosperity Joint-Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank).

    The two-year loan term, which can be extended for two additional years, will help VPBank expand its lending scope to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a strategic and focal segment of VPBank.

    According to the agreement, IFC has the right to convert the principal balance to VPBank’s common shares during the loan term. At present, VPBank is completing legal procedures for this convertible loan.

    “IFC’s long-term financing will help VPBank move closer towards its goal of becoming a leading small-and-medium sized bank in Việt Nam, supporting the private sector’s development and contributing to economic growth,” Lâm Bảo Quang, acting IFC country manager for Việt Nam, Cambodia and Laos, said.

    “Thanks to IFC’s investment, VPBank can enhance its reputation and brand value through IFC’s supervision and technical support in corporate governance, especially risk management,” CEO Nguyễn Đức Vinh said, reiterating that this loan provided VPBank with medium-term capital for foreign-currency loans.

    He added that it also contributed to VPBank’s charter capital to meet capital requirements and strengthen capital adequacy ratio, following Basel II in case IFC implements its right to convert the loan to shares.

    Basel II is a new, higher level for Vietnamese banks in accordance with Basel Accords standards set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). The application is flexible to different countries but the overall spirit is tighter regulations on banking operations.

    In 2016 and early 2017, IFC also provided VPBank with a five-year financial package of $158 million and trade guarantee lines of up to $50 million. This helped VPBank to continue expanding its lending to micro, small and medium enterprises, especially women-owned enterprises, and boost international trade opportunities.

    Inter-bank lending rates drop to eight-month low

    Inter-bank lending interest rates have slipped to an eight-month low in the wake of the central bank’s recent policy rate cut.

    The rates for overnight, one-week and one-month loans in the inter-bank market last week declined by 0.47, 0.49 and 0.67 percentage points against the previous week to 1.28, 1.57 and 2.42 per cent, respectively, according to the latest monetary report by Saigon Securities Incorporation.

    As per the central bank’s rate cut on July 10, the refinancing rate has been reduced from 6.5 per cent per year to 6.25; the rediscount rate from 4.5 per cent per year to 4.25; and other rates from 7.5 per cent to 7.25 annually.

    The maximum annual short-term interest rate for đồng loans to meet customer demand for capital in prioritised sectors, including agricultural, export and auxiliary industries, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and high-tech firms, has also been cut by 0.5 percentage points to 6.5 per cent.

    After the central bank’s decision, many commercial banks such as Vietcombank, Agribank, VP Bank, Sacombank and LienVietPostBank have brought down their lending rate by 0.5-1 percentage points.

    Around US$384 million injected into industrial parks in HCMC

    Export processing zones (EPZs) and industrial parks (IPs) in HCMC attracted around US$384 million in investment in the first half of this year, indicating the continued flow of investment into the city’s manufacturing sector, heard a press conference last Friday.

    Nguyen Thanh Binh, deputy administration manager of the HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (Hepza), said the amount of US$384 million has met around 77% of the agency’s target of attracting US$500 million in investment this year.

    Domestic and foreign investments saw respective increases of over 24% and 52% to around US$160 million and over US$224 million.

    The majority of projects belonged to food, garment-textile, services, and mechanical engineering sectors, as well as supporting industries.

    Notably, CJ Cau Tre Food JSC, formerly known as Cau Tre Export Processing JSC, has been developing a 7.1-hectare complex worth around VND1.2 trillion (US$52.8 million) at the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone in Nha Be District to process meat and seafood. The facility is expected to be operational next July, with its designed capacity in phase one at around 12,000 tons of products a year.

    Binh said the land area available for rent totaled nearly 68 hectares in January-June, 1.74 times higher than the same period last year, while workshops available were measured nearly 60,000 square meters, up 2.5 times year-on-year.

    So far, local EPZs and IPs have accommodated more than 1,460 valid projects with registered capital of US$9.7 billion. Their total export turnover is estimated at over US$2.7 billion in the six-month-period, a year-on-year rise of 27.24%.

    Hepza has coordinated with the HCMC Transport Department and investors to upgrade infrastructure systems inside and outside the area in a bid to create favorable conditions for enterprises to transport their goods, thereby reducing logistics costs, according to Hepza’s deputy director Nguyen Tan Phuoc.

    Phuoc said Hepza has also teamed up with the municipal departments of taxation and finance to remove administrative barriers relating to land lease payment procedures. In addition, they have created sound conditions for secondary enterprises to prop up their investments.

    Hepza has also cooperated with district-level governments to speed up site clearance at both existing and new IPs like the 668-hectare Pham Van Hai IP in order to develop new facilities.

    In regard to small and medium enterprises, Hepza and the Hiep Phuoc IP have offered 15 plots of land ranging from 750 to 3,000 square meters, and 350-square-meter workshops for lease at reasonable prices.

    Especially, Hepza is working with relevant agencies to continue developing high-rise buildings to supply workshops for the 2016-2020 period at the Dong Nam, Linh Trung and Tan Thuan IPs.

    The city government has asked Hepza to improve services, reform administrative procedures, and increase well-qualified manpower so as to enhance the city’s competitiveness.

    Tan Son Nhat International Airport has new business lounge

    Tan Son Nhat Airport Services Company (SASCO) last Friday inaugurated Le Saigonnais Business Lounge capable of seating 150 passengers at the domestic terminal of Tan Son International Airport.

    With a total area of 512 square meters, the lounge is separated into different spaces by rattan doors and small gardens to ensure privacy for the passengers.

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Nguyen Nam Tien, deputy director of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, said along with upgrading infrastructure, the airport management always attaches special importance to offering high-class services, aiming at improving competitiveness against other airports in the region.

    In addition to Le Saigonnais lounge, the airport has another business lounge operated by Vietnam Airlines.

    Founded in 1993, SASCO is operating duty-free shops, business lounges and food stalls at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

    The company’s revenues in 2016 reached over VND2 trillion (over US$88 million), including over VND1 trillion from duty-free shops, up 4% year-on-year. Its profits totaled VND887 billion, increasing by VND146 billion compared to 2015.

    In the first quarter of 2017, SASCO posted a total revenue of over VND586 billion, up 6% year-on-year, and after-tax profits reached VND66 billion, up 55%.

    In April 20, 2017, Jonathan Hanh Nguyen was appointed as SASCO’s chairman of the board of directors, replacing Doan Thi Mai Huong, who assumed the post of general director of the company.

    Carabao to build energy drink plant in Vietnam

    Thai energy drink group Carabao may invest US$200 million in a factory in Vietnam in the coming time, said Sathien Setthasi, chairman of Carabao Group.

    At a meeting with Carabao product distributors last week, Sathien Setthasi said that the plant, with automatic line and capacity of 240 million cans a year, is part of Carabao brand development plan.

    According to the market research department of Carabao, Vietnamese energy drink market is very potential, accounting for 17% of the local beverage industry.

    There have been about 20 local and foreign energy drink brands in Vietnam since 2000. Red Bull brand of Thailand has been present in Vietnam for a long time with a plant in Binh Duong Province.

    Carabao, one of the leading beverage manufacturers of Thailand, has exported its products to the Philippines, Myanmar and Malaysia. Therefore, Sathien believes Carabao products can be well consumed in Vietnam.

    According to Euromonitor’s assessment, the local energy drink market is forecasted to develop rapidly with an annual growth rate of 11% compared to 7% of soft drinks in 2014-2017.

    In Vietnam, Carabao energy drinks are exclusively distributed by Ngoc Thien Bao Trading Co Ltd and offered at groceries, coffee shops, supermarkets and convenience store nationwide.

    Vinacas urges cashew exporters to be more cautious over futures contracts

    The Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) has just advised local processors not to sign multiple futures cashew nut export agreements to avoid defaults and damages due to insufficient inventories.

    At a review conference last week, Vinacas pointed out advantages and disadvantages of the domestic cashew sector in the January-June period, and unveiled its production and business plan for the rest of the year.

    Vinacas warned local exporters not to ink so many futures cashew nut agreements in case their inventories are in short supply, especially contracts with long deliveries. The move is to enable them to be more proactive in price negotiations in the months to come.

    The association ascribed unfavorable weather conditions and diseases in many farms nationwide to the dwindling raw cashew supply.

    Vinacas forecast the total volume of local raw cashew would reach around 252,000 tons this year at best, down 52,000 tons against the previous year.

    Consequently, local processors had to purchase raw cashew from abroad in a bid to fulfill their contracts.

    Data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shows Vietnam imported 665,000 tons of raw cashew worth US$1.28 billion in the six-month period, up 65% in volume and up two times in value compared to the same period last year.

    Besides, 149,000 tons of cashew nut was shipped abroad with a total value of US$1.5 billion during the same period, down over 4% in volume but up roughly 21% in value.

    The average export price of the commodity in January-May rose by 25% year-on-year to more than US$9,500 a ton.

    Meanwhile, a kilo of raw cashew was locally priced at a record high of VND50,000 (around US$2.2), a steep rise of 32% over the year-ago period.

    Therefore, having taken both domestic and international factors into account, Vinacas adjusted this year’s export volume of cashew nut to 320,000 tons from the previous plan of 360,000 tons.

    HCMC wants to carry out six PPP projects

    The HCMC Transport Department has proposed that the municipal government seek the Prime Minister’s approval to choose investors to implement six urgent traffic infrastructure projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) investment format.

    In particular, the projects are intended to build two sections of Ring Road No. 2 from the Phu Huu Bridge to the Hanoi Highway, and from Binh Thai Intersection to Pham Van Dong Street; two North-South Expressway sections from Nguyen Van Linh Street to Hoang Dieu Street, and to Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park; Elevated Road No.1; and Thu Thiem 4 Bridge.

    Earlier, the Transport Ministry said traffic congestion frequently occurs around Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Cat Lai Port, and in downtown districts. Therefore, these projects should be carried out soon in order to meet the rising demand for transport in the city.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment also shared the same view, adding the local government should allocate sufficient land, and meet land site clearance requirements for investors to undertake these projects.

    The HCMC People’s Council on July 6 opted for PPP as a key fund-raising vehicle given the lack of capital for vital infrastructure development projects.

    The council endorsed VND171.8 trillion (US$7.5 billion) for such projects to be carried out in the 2016-2020 period. Of the total amount, around VND22 trillion will come from the central State budget, and VND150 billion from the city’s budget.

    The city will use around VND11.2 trillion as reciprocal capital for projects funded by official development assistance (ODA) loans, and VND9.2 trillion for funding PPP projects.

    CapitaLand Vietnam introduces first branded residence

    CapitaLand Vietnam last week officially introduced D1MENSION, the first branded residence available for sale located in HCMC’s District 1. The project is developed by CapitaLand and managed by The Ascott Limited.

    With 102 apartment units for sale across a variety of two, three and four-bedroom apartments and penthouse units, D1MENSION is a highly exclusive development for only a few customers. With ‘sky facilities’ such as the Sky Infinity Pool, Sky Gym and Sky Party House that provide panoramic views of the surroundings, D1MENSION provides a new lifestyle for homebuyers.

    In May and June, D1MENSION was recognized by the Property Guru Vietnam Property Awards 2017 as the Best Luxury Condo Development in HCMC and by the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2017-2018 with the Five Stars Awards for Property Single Unit in Vietnam.

    For those looking to diversify investment, D1MENSION presents potential buy-to-lease investment opportunities with its strategic location in District 1, with connectivity to key districts of the city, including District 2 and District 7.

    It will be the first residential project in Vietnam to offer property management and concierge services by The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s serviced residence arm and one of the leading international serviced residence owners and operators. With this, buyers can invest in a project with sustainable value for the medium to long term.

    Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam, said Branded Residences are popular in other developed countries, but are still limited in Vietnam.

    “Owning a branded residence with quality management and maintenance means that the property’s value will be sustained and increase more than normal residential properties. We are glad to have our serviced residence partner, The Ascott Limited, to bring their expertise in this field to D1MENSION,” he said.

    HCMC to build chemical trading center this year

    The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade has submitted to competent agencies drafted bidding documents to choose investors for building a new trading center for aromatic substances and chemicals in the city this year.

    At a press conference last Friday to review the city’s trade-industry sector’s performance in the year’s first half, Ngo Hong Y from the department said that the project, approved by the HCMC People’s Committee, includes three phases.

    Legal documents will be completed in the first phase. In the second phase, the city will choose investors for the project while chemical trading facilities will be relocated in the last phase. The plan to build a concentrated chemical trading center has been conceived for long due to concerns over the safety at Kim Bien Market, which is the key venue for the chemical trade.

    Y said that Tuan Chau Group has proposed building a chemical trading center in Ward 16 of District 8. However, the city decided to choose investors through open bidding due to the unsuitability of Tuan Chau Group’s plan. The new center is to be developed on an area of 11.2 hectares in Ward 7 of District 8.

    In another note, Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, head of trade management at the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said at the press conference that pork products without clear origin will not be sold at Hoc Mon and Binh Dien wholesale markets in the city from July 31.

    The city has encountered numerous difficulties during the implementation of the project such as the modest number of breeding and slaughtering facilities joining the traceability program, the decrease in the number of pigs bearing ID tags, or bearing blank ID tags without information of pigs, Phuong added.

    HCMC can ensure 95% of pork supplies if origin of pork products sold at wholesale markets, representing 80% of the total in the city, and 15% from other distribution channels can be controlled.

    Phuong also added the city can control the origin of poultry meat and eggs from September 1. Currently, 11 incubating farms, 27 breeding farms, 343 poultry meat providing farms, 13 slaughterhouses, 53 egg providing farms and six egg processing facilities have registered to participate in the project.

    In the first half of the year, industrial production index of the city rose 7.51% versus the same period last year, in which, the food and beverage processing industry grew 5.02% while electronics and textile sectors increased 12.74% and 3.82% respectively.

    Retail and service revenue in the first six months reached VND500 trillion (US$22.01 billion), up 10.2% year-on-year.

    Government urges relaxation of business conditions

    The Government has urged ministries and departments to relax business conditions to create a more favorable business environment.

    In the resolution just issued to summarize contents at the Government meeting in June 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asks ministries and agencies to heed the Ministry of Justice’s suggestions to review and identify regulations that need to be amended and supplemented. They are told to map out plans to build laws related to land, constructions, housing, investment, business and specialized inspection, and submit such plans to the Ministry of Justice to report to the Government before July 30.

    Ministries and agencies shall base on the Government’s resolutions, especially Resolutions No. 19-2017/NQ-CP and No. 35/NQ-CP, to urgently propose relaxing business conditions. Suggestions must be submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment to report to the Prime Minister in the third quarter of 2017.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment is asked to strictly oversee the issuance of regulations on investment and business conditions, and make plan to amend Resolution No. 118/2015/ND-CP118/2015/ND-CP regulating some articles of the Law on Investment and submit the plan to the Government in the fourth quarter of 2017.

    The Law on Planning should be amended and supplemented to create drastic changes in planning to create stronger momentum for the country’s development. The Government asks ministries to eliminate impractical planning regulations that cause difficulties for enterprises and people and at the same time ensure stability and uniformity for the law system.

    The Government asks the Ministry of Planning and Investment to work with the Ministry of Construction and relevant agencies to complete the draft Law on Planning and submit it to the Prime Minister before July 30 to pass to the 14th National Assembly at its fourth meeting.

    Mid-sized groceries still grow despite boom of supermarkets

    Medium-sized groceries measuring over 100 square meters each have still been growing well over the past decade and will remain so in the next ten years despite the boom of modern shopping malls, said a researcher at a meeting here last week.

    Nguyen Huy Hoang, commercial director at the market research firm Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, told a meeting of Leading Business Club (LBC) last Thursday that small groceries of less than 50 square meters and mid-sized ones of over 100 square meters are not affected by modern shopping channels. Meanwhile, traditional wet markets have been the losers in recent time.

    Accordingly to Hoang, during the past decade, groceries have helped consume 60% of goods, specifically small and medium groceries holding market shares of 28% and 33% of commodities respectively.

    Traditional wet markets have been affected heavily, going down from 14% to 10% while supermarkets increase their shares by three percentage points to 12.8%.

    Online shopping channels only account for 0.4% despite significant development. Of this tiny market share, 43% of goods are sold by traders on Facebook and the remaining 57% are consumed through official e-commerce websites.

    Nevertheless, traditional retailing channels comprised of both wet markets and groceries still prevail with 90% of goods sold in Vietnam, in which medium-sized groceries are considered the mainstay.

    Hoang gave three reasons of the development of medium groceries. First, groceries owners are more adaptive to market changes and responsive to customers reflected through systematic and eye-catching goods arrangement, competitive prices of commodities and good relationship with customers.

    As a result, the channel of medium groceries will still retain its position in the next 10 years. Its market share, Hoang predicted, will increase from 33% to 39% in 2025. Conversely, that of small-sized ones will fall to 21%, he said.

    Similarly, convenience stores and mini-supermarkets will have a four-fold growth from 2.1% in 2016 to 8% in 2025 because of the establishment of new urban areas, the reduction of the average family size and the increase in working women.

    The growth is also attributed to the participation of many giants such as 7-Eleven, which has just entered Vietnam.

    Hoang said that 7-Eleven has achieved success in Thailand but sustained a defeat in Indonesia, closing all its stores by the end of June. Therefore, its performance in Vietnam can only be measured in the next two to three years or when it has about 100 stores in the country.

    According to the representative of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, convenience store model has both opportunities and challenges in Vietnam, such as the high rental for ideal locations, the required number of retail stores of at least 500 and diversified commodities. Many large brands have struggled to survive despite owning 100 to 200 stores.

    In addition, convenience stores often offer products at high selling prices, sometimes 40-50% higher than that of groceries.

    1H gasoline imports at $3.31bn

    Imports of gasoline in the first half of the year were estimated at 6.4 million tons, down slightly in volume year-on-year but up in value by more than 30 per cent, to VND75.350 trillion ($3.31 billion), according to figures from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    The imports came as local supply fell short of demand by some 2.6 million tons.

    Vietnam now imports gasoline from six countries, most of which are in Asia, though it cut its imports from Taiwan and Hong Kong in the first half.

    Singapore continued to be the largest supplier, holding a 42 per cent volume market share. The value of gasoline imports from the country in the first half reached more than VND29.7 trillion ($1.3 billion), accounting for 39 per cent of value and up 44 per cent year-on-year.

    South Korea followed, with VND19.85 trillion ($873.4 million) spent on importing 1.45 million tons, increases of 125 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively.

    Vietnam’s oil refineries can meet more than 30 per cent of domestic demand, according to the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (BSR), a member of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and which continues to invest in expanding the Dung Quat Oil Refinery to raise its capacity from 6.5 million tons per year to 8.5 million tons.

    It is forecast that over the next five years, domestic demand may rise to 15 million tons. With the opening of the Nghi Son Oil Refinery next year, the country’s total output will still only meet about 80 per cent of domestic demand.

    Grab, Uber carpool services banned in Hanoi

    The Hanoi Department of Transport has banned the ride-sharing services of Grab and Uber that allow people to share rides and split the fare, under a requirement from the Ministry of Transport.

    Grab Vietnam introduced its carpool service, GrabShare, in early May, while Uber Vietnam had announced intentions to launch a similar service, called UberPool. The service allows drivers to add additional passengers to the journey in addition to the person who made the original booking. The GrabShare feature in Ho Chi Minh City was embraced by passengers and transport experts as a way of easing traffic congestion, allowing up to three people traveling in the same direction to share one GrabCar rather than hailing three separate cars.

    However, the fare-splitting option is regarded as a violation of current laws, according to the ministry. Under law, cars operating within this business model are only permitted to sign one contract per trip.

    In Vietnam, Uber and Grab are classified as technology companies that provide passenger transport services via an electronic contract. Users and drivers agree upon the trip and the fare via a “contract” made on their respective smartphone apps. If a GrabCar driver carries two passengers that agree to share their ride with each other, it means the driver is conducting two separate contracts and is therefore in breach of regulations, the ministry explained.

    In addition, sharing a car with a stranger may result in possible risks for passengers the ministry claimed, though sharing rides in traditional taxis can be quite common at airports, for example. The ministry used this reason to support its claim that it was necessary to end the car-sharing services.

    If Uber and Grab fail to conform with the direction to end their carpool services they will face fines of VND4-6 million ($175-260) per ride. Hanoi authorities have recently said they will manage the operations of app-based taxi services, including Uber and Grab, in a way similar to traditional taxis, to guarantee a fair business environment.

    The move follows Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang taxi associations begging the Ministry of Transport to call for what they described as “a more equal business environment” in taxi services.

    Uber and Grab taxis are also required to display a logo or badge or have their vehicles in a common color. Signposts banning Uber and Grab vehicles may be put up on Hanoi streets.

    VNN


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  • 07/19/17--03:09: Article 2
  • Orchestra members hold impromptu concert at Tan Son Nhat airport


    Members of a young Vietnamese orchestra staged an impromptu rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D while waiting for their delayed flight at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.


     

    A screen grab from footage of the impromptu performance by the Maius Philharmonic Orchestra at tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, July 17, 2017.YouTube


    Their spontaneous performance enthralled hundreds of other passengers until it was cut short by a concerned security guard.

    In footage of the performance uploaded to YouTube, members of the Maius Philharmonic Orchestra can be seen stepping away from their seats at the airport’s waiting room and playing Canon in D, a classic work of the German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel.

    Approximately a dozen young musicians eventually gathered in a circle as the canon progressed, while hundreds of passengers stopped by to enjoy the performance.

    The impromptu performance was cut short when a concerned security guard intervened.

    “That was nice, but next time you guys should play somewhere else, as it is not allowed here,” the security guard said reluctantly.


    Footage of the impromptu performance by the Maius Philharmonic Orchestra at tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, July 17, 2017. Clip: YouTube/Maius Philharmonic

    According to Luu Quang Minh, conductor of the Maius Philharmonic Orchestra, the performance took place on Monday evening when 22 members of the orchestra were waiting for their flight to Hanoi after performing on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

    “Everything was spontaneous, and the positive reaction we received was totally unexpected,” Minh said. “We only wanted to ease the boredom of waiting for ourselves and other passengers.”

    The Maius Philharmomic Orchestra was founded in 2015, consisting of young Vietnamese musicians who are known for performances that blend classical melodies with street performance.

    Their previous orchestral renditions of iconic themes such as Wake Me Up, Pirates of the Caribbean and even the national anthem of Vietnam have received positive public feedback, attracting millions of views on the orchestra’s official YouTube channel.

    “The spontaneous performance at the airport was the epitome of what we always aim to achieve,” Minh said. “That naturalness, approachability, unpredictability, and cohesiveness.”

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 07/19/17--03:33: Article 1
  • Vietnamese support industry sees big improvements


    Many electronics and engineering companies have become first-class suppliers for foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in Vietnam.


     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news,  Samsung, supporting industries, value chain

    Two years ago, Thanh Long Electronics JSC was still an unfamiliar name among electronics manufacturers. Thanh Long had attended several international electronics exhibitions, but just as an ‘observer’.

    But today, Thanh Long is the partner of many foreign-invested enterprises from Japan and South Korea and it is the second-class PCB (printed circuit board) supplier for Samsung. 

    Many electronics and engineering companies have become first-class suppliers for foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam.

    The electronics giant from South Korea is considering upgrading Thanh Long into its first-class supplier. Cao Minh, the director of the company, said after 10 years of establishment, the company received turnover of $18 million in 2016.

    According to Nguyen Van Hao, director of HTMP Vietnam, the special characteristic of his company is that there is no sale division. But it never lacks orders and has been expanding production.

    Ten years ago, when it was set up, HTMP Vietnam had only several clients. But now, it is a first-class supplier of precision molding and plastic products for Samsung, Canon and Panasonic with turnover of $10 million in 2016.

    Hao said the demand is high, but competition in prices is stiff. In order to obtain orders from FIEs, businesses need to offer competitive prices. They also have to make commitments on quality and follow provisions on delivery.

    “If you cannot satisfy the requirements, you will be weeded out, though you are a loyal partner. There is not any ‘marriage forever’ with FIEs if you don’t improve technique and win their confidence,” he said.

    Some years ago, FIEs in Vietnam often complained that Vietnam’s support industries were underdeveloped, which made it difficult to find suppliers, except those which provided simple products such as plastics or packaging. Some of them even said they even could not find suppliers of screws.

    However, Do Thuy Huong from the Vietnam Electronics Association, chair of Viettronics Industry JSC, said FIEs cannot find Vietnamese suppliers of screws because the two sides cannot reach agreements in prices and specification. She also noted that there are poor linkages between Vietnamese and FIEs.

    However, the link between Vietnamese and FIEs has improved in recent years. Some Japanese and Korean enterprises have organized periodic exhibitions to find Vietnamese enterprises which can provide components.

    Samsung has set up a hot line with the Vietnam Electronics Association through which the association introduces enterprises to the Korean manufacturer.

    The localization ratio of Samsung’s products in Vietnam has increased considerably in recent years. In 2014, the ratio was 35 percent, but is now 57 percent.



    Kim Chi, VNN


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  • 07/19/17--03:45: Article 0
  • PM pushes SBV to achieve robust growth target
     

    HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) to take more comprehensive and bold measures to boost credit growth and reduce interest rates.


     

    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) to take more comprehensive and bold measures to boost credit growth and reduce interest rates. - VNS/Photo Thái Hà
     

    The message was communicated to the SBV on Tuesday in Hà Nội by a working group led by Government Office Chairman Mai Tiến Dũng, to push the central bank to help achieve the 6.7 per cent economic growth targeted for this year.

    Besides meeting the credit growth target of 18 per cent in 2017, the PM has required the SBV to better direct loans flowing into production, business and infrastructure to support firms, Dũng said.

    Dũng said the PM pointed out that though the country had 110,000 newly established firms in 2016, and nearly 60,000 in the first half of this year, the number of firms that closed or stopped operations during these periods was high, because of difficulties in credit access, land and policies.

    Interest rate cuts would help firms a lot, Dũng said, estimating that with outstanding loans of the entire banking system standing at around VNĐ5 quadrillion (US$219.3 billion), a rate cut of 1 percentage point would help firms save VNĐ50 trillion; the State budget earn another VNĐ2 trillion from corporate income tax; and the GDP rise by 0.25 per cent.

    With domestic public debts of roughly VNĐ1 quadrillion, the same rate cut would also contribute to saving VNĐ10 trillion of the State budget, Dũng added.

    However, he said, to cut rates, the SBV must first focus on settling non-performing loans (NPLs).

    “Interest rate cannot be cut unless NPLs are settled,” he said and ordered the SBV to issue guidelines soon to make it easier for credit institutions to sell secure loans and assets, based on the new resolution passed recently by the National Assembly on settling NPLs.

    The PM has also asked the central bank to study and determine how to mobilise foreign currency from local people, and said the current zero per cent interest rate policy for US dollar deposits would obviously not attract dollar holders to make bank deposits.

    “Though the SBV’s aim is to curb dollarisation of the local economy, it must think about other measures to mobilise this idle capital as we still have to buy international bonds at interest rate of more than 4 per cent,” Dũng said.

    He said Phúc had also instructed the SBV to better implement regulations in Circular 36/2014, which are aimed at settling cross-ownership among commercial banks. Though the issue is more under control since the circular took effect in 2015, there remain cross-ownership among banks. For example, Vietcombank still holds 7.16 per cent of the charter capitals of Military Bank, 8.19 per cent of Eximbank, 5.07 per cent of SaigonBank and 4.3 per cent of OCB’s charter capital, lower ratio compared to 9.8 per cent, 8.2 per cent, 5.26 per centand 4.6 per cent in 2014, respectively.

    Finally, the SBV must also strengthen security for internet banking services. “We are encouraging local people to use other kinds of payment instead of cash in their daily lives, so security is very important. Otherwise, it will affect people’s trust on the banking system,” Dũng said. - VNS


    0 0
  • 07/21/17--02:41: Article 0
  • List of the largest M&A deals in Vietnam in 2016-2017


    In 2016 and the first half of 2017, Vietnam has seen a series of multimillion dollar mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals.

    Here is the list of Vietnam’s top merger and acquisition deals (The List 50) announced at this morning press conference organised by VIR and AVM Vietnam.


     List of the largest M&A deals in Vietnam in 2016-2017, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

    Outstanding merger deals

    1. TTC and Bien Hoa Sugar

    Thanh Thanh Cong Tay Ninh Sugar JSC (TTCS) will make a share swap to fully acquire Bien Hoa Sugar Joint Stock Company (JSC) in order to become the biggest sugar producer in Vietnam.

    TTCS will issue nearly 304 million shares to convert all outstanding shares of Bien Hoa Sugar at a ratio of 1:1.02.

    The conversion ratio was calculated by a third-party company that valued the shares of TTCS and Bien Hoa Sugar at VND20,944 ($0.92) and VND21,356 ($0.94), respectively.

    The deal will be carried out within 90 days (plus extensions if needed), starting from the day TTCS receives the permit from the State Securities Commission for the share issuance.

    After the merger is completed, the chartered capital of TTCS will increase by VND3.04 trillion ($133.75 million), to VND5.57 trillion ($245.07 million). Besides, Bien Hoa Sugar will be renamed Thanh Thanh Cong Bien Hoa-Dong Nai Sugar Co., Ltd. to mark TTCS’s sole ownership.

    Outstanding acquisition deals

    1. Kido and Tuong An

    On November 24 last year, foodstuff producer Kido Joint Stock Company (KDC) completed the purchase of a 65 per cent stake, equalling 12.34 million shares, in Tuong An Vegetable Oil JSC (TAC).

    The official value of the deal has not been disclosed. However, in early November, KDC raised its offer, professing to its determination to buy TAC’s shares. Notably, KDC is willing to pay VND82,000 ($3.66) instead of the VND78,000 ($3.48) per share.

    Thereby, the purchase value may reach VND1.01 trillion ($45.17 million).

    2. Shinhan Vietnam and ANZ

    In April 2017, ANZ Vietnam released plans to sell its retail banking arm to Shinhan Vietnam, a subsidiary of South Korean Shinhan Bank, by the end of 2017, to focus on its institutional banking activities in the country.

    The agreement with Shinhan Bank Vietnam will include all eight branches and transaction offices located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and keep all retail staff in their position. The deal value has been undisclosed.

    3. CJ vs. Minh Dat and Cau Tre

    In April, Saigon Trading Group (SATRA), the biggest shareholder of Cau Tre Export Goods Processing JSC, announced the public auction of a 20 per cent stake in the company.

    Two subsidiaries of South Korean conglomerate CJ, CJ Foods Vietnam Ltd. and CJ CheilJedang Corporation, spent $12.4 million to buy 47.3 per cent of Cau Tre’s stake and raised CJ’s total holding to 71 per cent. On May 21, the shareholders of Cau Tre ratified the decision to change the company’s name to CJ Cau Tre.

    Besides, CJ CheilJedang spent $13.44 million to acquire a 64.9 per cent stake in Minh Dat Food, considered the biggest Vietnamese private meatball company with a revenue of VND270 billion in 2016. The deal was reportedly made in secret in late 2016 and was only wrapped up officially in May. The company has changed its name to Minh Dat CJ Food and it is recruiting workers for its new development stage.

    4. Earth Chemical buys Ai My Gia

    In late March, Japanese Earth Chemical Group released plans to spend more than $80 million to buy the entire stake in Ai My Gia JSC, a Vietnamese home cleaning and hygiene producer with famous brands like Gift, Ami, and Redfoxx. According to Reuters, the deal was completed on May 12.

    5. SCG buys Vietnam Construction Materials JSC (VCM)

    In March, SCG Cement-Building Materials Co., Ltd., a member of Siam Cement Group (SCG), spent $156 million on buying up the shares of VCM.

    The Bangkok Post quoted a statement from SCG as saying that the enterprise value (EV) of this transaction was $440 million, including a net debt and additional investment to improve the efficiency of the acquired assets.

    6. Aviva and Vietinbank

    In April, British insurance firm Aviva acquired a 50 per cent stake in domestic insurance firm Vietinbank Aviva from Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank).

    The deal made Vietinbank Aviva (or Aviva Vietnam) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviva PLC. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

    The deal will help Aviva simplify its operations in the region and develop its business activities via key distribution channels.

    7. Daesang Corp. and Duc Viet

    In September 2016, South Korean food-producing conglomerate Daesang Corp. completed the acquisition of a 99.99 per cent stake in Vietnamese meat processor and distributor Duc Viet Food Joint Stock Company for $32 million, fetching the Korean company a bridgehead in the Southeast Asian meat processing market.

    The purpose of buying Duc Viet Food is to reinforce its food processing business in Vietnam, currently centred on frozen ham products.

    Previously, the two parties failed to complete the purchase, which was rumoured to be finished by August 5, because Daesang had yet to finish all necessary documents for the acquisition.

    8. VIB and Commonwealth Vietnam

    Early this month, Commonwealth Bank of Australia received the State Bank of Vietnam’s approval to sell its Ho Chi Minh City branch to local commercial lender Vietnam International Bank (VIB). Accordingly, VIB will acquire all the assets and liabilities of the foreign bank’s branch.

    However, financial details were not disclosed.

    Han Ngoc Vu, CEO of VIB, told DealStreetAsia that the transition process “will take several months.”

    The Aussie bank earlier invested in VIB in 2009 and 2010 as a strategic partner and maintains a 20 per cent ownership. Its local branch was set up in 2008.

    9. TTC Group and Hoang Anh Gia Lai Sugar

    Bien Hoa Sugar Joint Stock Company and Tay Ninh Sugar Joint Stock Company, two subsidiaries of TTC Group, will take over the sugar operations of Hoang Anh Gia Lai in a bid to make TTC Group the biggest sugar producer in Vietnam in terms of output.

    Accordingly, BHS is going to buy 60 per cent of HAGL Sugar from Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agricultural Joint Stock Company (HoSE: HNG). The long-term financial investment contract has a value of VND798 billion ($35.1 million) and will be carried out by the end of 2017.

    TTC Tay Ninh Sugar will buy 40 per cent of HAGL Sugar from HNG and an individual shareholder. Though the investment has only been announced, HNG already assigned management positions and the right to operate the sugar factory, the sugar cane farm, and related assets to SBT.

    Outstanding real estate project transfers

    1. CapitaLand and Thien Duc Trading-Construction Company

    In February, CapitaLand released news that its subsidiary CLV Investment 5 bought 20 per cent stake in Thien Duc Trading Construction Co., Ltd. for $17.9 million, raising CLV Investment 5’s ownership in Thien Duc to 50 per cent.

    Besides, as of September 23, 2016, CapitaLand spent $51.9 million to acquire 100 per cent of Twin Peaks Developments Limited and 75 per cent of River View Company Limited.

    2. An Gia, Creed, and Van Phat Hung

    In March, An Gia Investment and Creed Group from Japan announced they had completed the acquisition of seven blocks of the Lacasa complex in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 from Van Phat Hung Group.

    An Gia Investment bought two blocks in March 2015, and then, in collaboration with Creed Group, it continued acquiring the remaining five blocks in the second phase. The deal’s value was $40 million.

    This is the sixth mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deal that An Gia has concluded in recent years.

    3. Keppel Land and Southern Waterborne Transport Corp

    Keppel Land—a leading Singaporean real estate developers—said on March 20 that it had spent $37 million on acquiring a 16 per cent stake in the group WATCO I to V, Keppel Land’s joint venture (JV) entities set up to develop Saigon Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, from partner Southern Waterborne Transport Corporation.

    4. EXS Capital Ltd., ACA Investment, and SonKim Land

    In May, SonKim Land Corporation, a leading Vietnamese real estate developer, and EXS Capital Ltd., an independent alternative investment group in Asia, announced the successful closure of their first round—$46 million out of an expected $100 million—of follow-up fundraising for SonKim Land.

    This is the second investment led by EXS Capital in SonKim Land through the Lemongrass Master Fund, after a successful initial investment of $37 million in 2013.

    For the follow-up investment, SonKim Land and EXS Capital are also partnering with ACA Investments, a leading Japanese fund management firm based in Singapore with a strong track record of investments across the Asia-Pacific.

    Outstanding private equity and investment

    1. Fraser & Neave Ltd. and Vinamilk

    In December 2016, F&N Beverages Manufacturing Sdn., Bhd. and F&N Dairy Investments Pte., Ltd., the two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Fraser & Neave Ltd. (F&N), have completed the purchase of a total of 78.38 million shares, equalling a 5.4 per cent stake, in Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk).

    Accordingly, the two companies spent VND11.3 trillion ($499.56 million) on buying the registered share volume at the initial offering share price of VND144,000 ($6.33).

    According to the latest news, F&N Dairy Investments Pte., Ltd. has expressed interest in increasing its stakes in Vinamilk via registering to buy an additional 14.5 million shares.

    2. KKR and Masan Group

    Masan Group Corporation (HOSE: MSN), announced on April 21 that leading global investment firm KKR has completed its $250-million investment in Masan Group and in its branded meat platform Masan Nutri-Science.

    KKR’s investment is comprised of a $100-million purchase of secondary shares in Masan Group from PENM Partners, an independent Danish private equity company, and a $150-million primary investment in Masan Nutri-Science for a 7.5 per cent stake.

    This is KKR’s second investment in Masan, after a $359 million invested in Masan Consumer. KKR will make the investment from its Asian Fund II.

    3. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (SFMI) and PJICO

    Petrolimex Insurance Joint Stock Company (PJICO), coded PGI on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, will sell 20 per cent of its chartered capital to Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance.

    The company will offer 17.74 million shares to Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., a leading non-insurance company from South Korea.

    The company planned to issue the shares this year after the Ministry of Finance approves in principle to change PJICO’s chartered capital and the State Securities Commission also approves the transaction.

    4. ACA Investments and Bibo Mart

    In May, Bibo Mart JSC officially announced the investment from ACA Investments, Japan’s leading fund management company and an affiliate of Sumitomo Corporation.

    With this investment, ACA Investments acquired 20 per cent of Bibo Mart’s stakes.

    5. Sumitomo Bank and BIDV Financial Leasing Company

    In February, a final agreement to expand a joint leasing business in Vietnam between the two parties has been reached by way of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, investing 49 per cent of the total equity of BIDV Financial Leasing Company (BLC), a subsidiary of BIDV, Vietnam’s biggest lender in terms of assets. The deal’s value reached $19.2 million.

    6. UOB, ORIX Group, and Bitexco Power

    In September 2016, UOB Venture Management Pte., Ltd. (UOBVM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Overseas Bank Limited, and financial company ORIX Corporation (ORIX), announced that they will each invest $25 million in one of Vietnam’s largest privately-owned hydropower companies, Bitexco Power.

    7. Standard Chartered PE and N Kid

    Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), the private equity arm of Standard Chartered Bank, has poured $40 million into acquiring a 20 per cent stake in N Kid Corporation (N Kid), a Vietnamese lifestyle platform for kids and teenagers.

    Enterprises with Best M&A Strategy

    SCG, Kido Group, and CJ Group

    Enterprises with Best M&A Information Publication

    Vietjet, Kido Food, Vinamilk, Masan, SonKim Land, Aviva, and Commonwealth Bank. Almost all information about their deals have been published in a transparent and accurate manner.

    Outstanding consulting companies

    Viet Capital Securities JSC, Baker McKenzie, Vilaf, Allens, Bao Viet Securities Corporation, VP Bank Securities Company (VPBS), RongViet Securities Corporation, and Saigon-Hanoi Securities Corporation (SHS).

    VIR


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  • 07/24/17--01:13: Article 4
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 24/7


    VN-Index to extend loss on inevitable correction


     

    The local stock market is set to experience another week of corrections but the decrease will likely slow down with divergence based on the results of second-quarter earnings, analysts said.

    The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange lost over 2 percent last week with four falling sessions and only one mid-week rising trade.

    The key index closed on July 21 at 761.86 points, down 2.7 percent from the nine-year peak of 782.665 seen on July 6.

    On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index slumped 2.5 percent for the whole week, ending at 97.96 points on July 21.

    “The market seems to be exhausted and faces risks of downward corrections. However, the speed of fall last week was quite strong and fast, negatively impacting investors’ psychology,” said Nguyen Huu Binh, leading analyst at Vietnam Investment Securities Co, told tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn.

    But this could also be a sign that the market will soon retreat to the strong support threshold of 740-750 points, Binh said.

    All shares, including large-caps, medium-caps and penny stocks, performed badly last week with a majority of stocks falling across the two exchanges’ electronic boards.

    The shares weighing down the market most included PV Gas (GAS), Vinamilk (VNM), big banks like Vietcombank (VCB), BIDV (BID), Vietinbank (CTG), Military Bank (MBB), Mobile World Group (MWG), steel manufacturer Hoa Phat Group (HPG), insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH). They were among top 30 largest shares by market value and liquidity on the HCM Stock Exchange.

    However, liquidity is waning, which may indicate weaker demand and a possibility that the high selling pressure would soon stop, Binh said, predicting would increase again at the 740-750 points for the VN-Index.

    Trading volume through order matching method on the HCM Stock Exchange rose 2.5 percent over the previous week, averaging 193.3 million shares per session but it was seen that the volume was declining towards the end of the week.

    “A downward correction was inevitable after seven consecutive months of growth and in my opinion, this is an essential correction before the market will advance into the next growing period in the last months of the year,” said Nguyen Trung Du, head of the brokerage division in the North region under HCM Securities Co.

    According to analysts at BIDV Securities Co (BSC), the VN-Index is likely to remain under correction pressure in the next one to two weeks with a support threshold at 750 points. However, they added, the market will also see divergence based on second-quarter earnings results of listed companies.

    Nearly 320 out of total 719 companies on the stock exchanges, accounting for 45 percent of total listed companies, have released their second-quarter earnings as of July 21. In terms of absolute value, net profits of these companies reached 10 trillion VND (439 million USD), up 10 percent over the same period of last year.

    Five biggest earners were Vietcombank, Pha Lai Thermal Power, Vicostone, Kido Group and Nam Long Investment Group.

    About 160 companies reported improved earnings results compared to last year’s same period.

    “With such results, the market will likely experience strong divergence in the coming time,” BSC’s stock analysts wrote in a report.

    They suggested that investors refrain from investing in the companies with unstable business performance as well as those that have gained large value in the past rallies.

    VCA plans support polices to spur cooperatives’ development


      VCA plans support polices to spur cooperatives’ development, Credit growth reported at 9.06 percent in six months, Vietnam strives to earn 250 million USD from tea exports in 2017

    The Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) will concentrate on devising support policies in terms of capital, land, technology and market access, while building a value chain model connecting households, cooperatives and businesses, said VCA President Vo Kim Cu.

    Addressing the third meeting of the fifth VCA Central Committee on July 20 in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, Cu said the alliance will also focus on human resource training and encourage the development of people’s credit funds.

    According to the official, the Cooperative Law 2012 has showed a number of shortcomings that need amendments and supplements to create a more favourable legal corridor for cooperatives to operate equally with other economic components and businesses.

    Participants at the two-day event discussed the collective economic situation in the country and the performance of the VCA in the first half of 2017 and its tasks for the rest of the year.

    Currently, Vietnam has over 20,000 cooperatives and 15,000 cooperative groups operating in various fields including agriculture, trade-service, construction, transportation and credit.

    Of the total, more than 10,000 cooperatives have reformed and registered for operation while over 3,750 others were established under the Cooperative Law 2012.

    Total assets of the cooperatives exceed 12 trillion VND (around 528.6 million USD), with average revenue of more than 4.3 billion VND per year, 949 million VND higher than that in 2013. Average income of labourers in the cooperatives is 43 million VND per year, a rise of 17 million compared to that in 2013.

    However, many transformed cooperatives under the Cooperative Law 2012 remain small with limited financial and infrastructure capacity and loose connection with value chains.

    India firms seek to boost textile machinery exports to Vietnam

    Vietnam is a potential market to which Indian businesses are seeking opportunities to boost export of textile machines and equipment, said N.D. Mhatre, Director General (Technical) of  the Indian Textile Accessories and Machinery Manufacturers Association (ITAMMA).

    As one of the world’s leading textiles and garment exporters, Vietnam has a growing demand for machinery and equipment, thereby creating big opportunities for Indian firms, Mhatre at a Vietnam-Indian business exchange programme co-held by ITAMMA and the Consulate General of India in HCM City on July 20. 

    The director noted that India’s export turnover of textiles-garment machinery and equipment surpassed 400 million USD in 2016, but its earnings from Vietnam reached only 400,000 USD. 

    Therefore, Indian enterprises wish to boost trade promotion and business networking in the garment and textiles sector in order to build up long-term cooperative ties, he added. 

    In addition, ITAMMA plans to set up a textiles-garment technology centre in Ho Chi Minh City to introduce machines, equipment and provide after-sale services to Vietnamese customers. It will also serve as a venue for the two countries’ businesses to exchange and update on the latest technologies in the field.

    Participants shared a view that Indian businesses have opportunities to supply machines and equipment with affordable prices to the Vietnamese market as machines imported from Europe have high prices.

    Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Vice General Secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), also affirmed that India is an important trade partner of Vietnam in the field of garment-textiles and machinery, while Vietnam is a potential market for Indian businesses. 

    This is a convenient time for Vietnamese and Indian companies to enhance cooperation in the garment-textiles sector, she said, suggesting that Indian firms should work with Vietnamese fabric and textile factories to create material supply chains in Vietnam, bringing long-term benefits to both sides.

    Experts: Domestic companies should develop strong brand names

    European consumers cannot recognise brand names of almost goods imported from Vietnam since many businesses have not been fully aware of the importance of building trademarks and have not complied with EU standards for exports, said Claudio Dordi, Technical Assistance Team Leader of the EU-MUTRAP Project.

    Most of Vietnam’s agricultural products sold in the EU market are labelled with Chinese and Japanese brand names since Vietnam exported raw materials to these countries, Dordi told a trade policy forum held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the centre for investment and trade promotion of Can Tho city on July 20.

    According to the expert, up to 99 percent of coffee products imported into the EU come from Vietnam, but few consumers know that fact.

    Aside from coffee, Vietnam’s cocoa, tea, toys, footwear and apparel are also facing the same situation, he noted, adding that European consumers equate Vietnamese goods with Chinese products, forcing importing countries to raise more quality control barriers towards Vietnamese products.

    The expert urged Vietnamese exporters to modernise their production lines and develop strong brand names for their firms. They also need to update changes in import policies of partner markets.

    Dr Nguyen Phuong Mai, a specialist of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said enterprises should affirm their prestige through implementing the CSR Pyramid, which includes economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic domains. The top of this pyramid is the philanthropic domain, indicating that benefits produced by businesses go beyond the society’s expectations.

    Alain Chevalier, senior technical advisor of the programme “Decentralised Trade Support Services for Strengthening the International Competitiveness of Vietnamese Small and Medium-sized Enterprises”, introduced the Standards Map of the International Trade Centre. The software helps exporters learn about main features, requirements and export-related policies.

    Accordingly, Vietnamese firms exporting goods to the EU should understand that local consumers are ready to pay more for goods made in line with standards, in an environmentally friendly manner, and with social responsibility, he added.

    Conference seeks to develop transport infrastructure in northwest

    The Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, the Steering Committee for Northwestern Region and the Transport Ministry held a conference in Hanoi on July 20 to discuss developing transport infrastructure in the northwest. 

    Speaking at the event, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh underscored the significance of the effort, saying that it will fuel socio-economic development and ensure national defence-security in the region and the country. 

    Deputy head of the Steering Committee for Northwestern Region Nguyen Canh Viet said road transportation plays the most important role in the region with 3,718 out of 6,730km of national highway being completed. 

    The highways connecting Hanoi with Yen Bai and Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen and Bac Giang have been completed and put into operation while projects on the construction of Hoa Lac – Hoa Binh and Thai Nguyen – Cho Moi roads are underway. 

    Meanwhile, railway, waterway and aviation transportation remain limited. With a total length of nearly 700km, the railway system is yet to meet demand. 

    Binh agreed with nine measures and recommendations by ministries, agencies and localities to develop regional transport infrastructure between now and 2020. 

    Specifically, the Transport Ministry’s Party Civil Affairs Committee will work with localities to continue reviewing transport development planning and set priorities to key and urgent projects. 

    Binh stressed the need to accelerate the building of highways linking Hoa Lac and Hoa Binh, Thai Nguyen and Bac Kan, Bac Giang and Lang Son city in the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. The State Bank must direct commercial banks to offer more loans to Hoa Lac – Hoa Binh project. 

    The Transport Ministry must direct stepping up procedures to build routes linking northern mountainous provinces with Noi Bai – Lao Cai highway, accelerate negotiations on projects using official development assistance between now and 2020, including Lai Chau – Yen Bai, Yen Bai – Ha Giang and Lang Son – Cao Bang roads. 

    It was asked to direct ministries and agencies concerned to soon complete procedures to launch the construction of Lang Son city – Huu Nghi border gate highway. 

    The ministry was assigned to partner with the ministries of planning and investment, and finance to arrange funding for the upgrade of Dien Bien airport and consider building Lao Cai airport in BOT model. 

    Binh also agreed with a waterway upgrade plan, focusing on Viet Tri – Yen Bai route. 

    The Vietnam Railways Corporation was urged to renovate technology, improve services and effectively tap existing railways in the region.

    Petrol prices increased by over 300 VND per litre

    The ministries of industry and trade and finance decided to raise retail petrol prices as of 3 p.m on July 20.

    The retail price of RON 92 increased by 357 VND to trade at a maximum of 16,426 VND (0.72 USD) per litre. The price of E5 bio-fuel rose by 333 VND to trade at the ceiling price of 16,251 VND (0.71 USD) per litre.

    Diesel 0.05S will be sold at the maximum price of 13,329 VND (0.58 USD) per litre and kerosene at 11,936 VND (0.52 USD) per litre.

    The average global price of RON 92 during 15 days to July 20 was 57,856 USD per barrel while that of diesel 0.05S was 59,918 USD per barrel.

    Credit growth reported at 9.06 percent in six months

    Vietnam posted a credit growth rate of 9.06 percent as of June 30 compared to the end of last year, which did not pressure interest rates, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Le Minh Hung said on July 21.

    He made the announcement at a teleconference to implement a National Assembly resolution on bad debt settlement and a plan on credit institution restructuring and bad debt settlement for 2016-2020.

    Credit in the economy has increased rapidly and evenly month on month, which was not the case in previous years, he noted, adding that loans were mainly poured into production and business activities.

    Hung said the central bank kept interest rates stable in the first half of 2017 despite high inflation in late 2016 and earlier this year.

    [WB: Vietnamese economy sees positive changes in first half]

    As inflation is under control and the SBV wants to facilitate business activities, the bank ordered credit institutions to cut interest rates for short-term loans in prioritised fields by 0.5 percent from July 10.

    The prioritised fields are agricultural and rural development, exports, activities of small and medium-sized enterprises, development of support industries and high-tech companies.

    Interest rates are at about 6 – 6.5 percent for short-term loans and 8 – 10 percent for medium- and long-term loans, the Governor added.

    Vietnam strives to earn 250 million USD from tea exports in 2017

    Vietnam’s tea sector is aiming to export 150,000 tonnes and earn a turnover of 250 million USD in 2017, announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    The sector also targets selling about 50,000 tonnes of tea for domestic consumption, earning about 10 trillion VND (439.9 million USD).

    To realise the target, the MARD advised processing firms to connect with tea growers and control the manufacturing process, while ensuring food safety and grasping technical barriers of importers.

    The ministry will increase trade promotion activities and provide support for businesses to participate in domestic and international trade fairs.

    In the first six months of 2017, Vietnam exported 63,000 tonnes of tea, raking in 98 million USD, up 17 percent in volume and 15 percent in value year-on-year.-

    Binh Duong Water Environment JSC debuts on HCM City bourse

    Binh Duong Water Environment Joint Stock Company in the southern province of Binh Duong started trading with code BWE on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) on July 20, the 421st company on the bourse.

    The HOSE decided to list the company’s shares at the reference price of 14,300 VND (0.63 USD) per share, with a trading band of 20 percent for maiden listings.

    At the end of July 20, BWE stock was sold at 17,150 VND (0.75 USD) per share, up 20 percent from the initial price.

    Listing on the HOSE, the company is expected to improve its public reputation and draw more investment.

    Equitised in August, 2016, the company currently has charter capital of 1.5 trillion VND (65.9 million USD).

    BWE focuses on treating and supplying clean water for daily activities and industry in the province. By the end of the first quarter of this year, the company had total assets exceeding 8.8 trillion VND (387 million USD), total revenue of 342 billion VND (15 million USD) and profit after taxes of 53 billion VND (2.3 million USD).

    HOSE is the exchange that gathers the biggest companies in Vietnam with its VN30 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest 30 firms by market capitalisation.

    Vietnam becomes leading exporter of bags, suitcases

    Currently, Vietnam ranks fifth among top ten exporters of bags and suitcases in the world, accounting for 5.4% the global supply, according to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO).

    Last year, backpack, bag, and suitcase exports to top ten consumer markets hit US$3.2 billion.

    LEFASO President Nguyen Duc Thuan said exports have grown 10-15% annually over the last five years. Many international brands have built their manufacturing plants in Vietnam.

    The LEFASO representative said, last year the US, Hong Kong and Japan were the three largest importers of backpacks, bags and suitcases while China was the biggest exporter of the products, making up 40.8% of the total global supply.

    Cybersecurity firms boom in Vietnam

    Internet security firms are cashing in on the increasing number of cyberattacks targeting entities in Vietnam. But all that glitters is not gold, experts have warned.

    In 2015, 31,585 cybertattacks were recorded in Vietnam, causing total damages estimated at VND8.7 trillion (US$383.26 million).

    In the first three months of this year, 7,700 attacks targeted Vietnamese websites while the infamous ransomware WannaCry hit 1,900 computers in the country.

    According to experts, 52 percent of computers in Vietnam remain vulnerable to viruses and malware.

    However, of all the cybersecurity companies in Vietnam trying to cash in by offering consumers protection from these attacks, only seven are actually licensed businesses while the rest are unlicensed operations focused on “scaring customers into using their services,” according to experts.

    Some of the well-known internet security firms in Vietnam are Hanoi-based Bkav, FPT, state-run VNPT, and Russia’s Kaspersky Lab.

    On top of its popular antivirus software, Bkav now offers such cybersecurity services as firewalls or anti-APT solutions.

    APT, or advanced persistent threat, is a network attack in which an unauthorized person gains access to a network and stays undetected for a long period of time.

    The intention of an APT attack is to steal data rather than cause damage to the network or organization.

    “Kaspersky used to be known only as a supplier of security software to end-users, but since 2015, we have offered in-depth cybersecurity services as well as security training and consultation,” Vo Duong Tu Diem, a representative of the Russian firm in Vietnam, said.

    Besides these big names are startups that have gained fame from winning security competitions, such as CyRadar.

    However, according to Dr. Vo Van Khang, deputy chairman of the southern chapter of the Vietnam Information Security Association, there are certain low-quality companies out there that are ripping off customers with lies about their services.

    Customers, especially companies, are also concerned that some cybersecurity firms are willing to accept money from firms in exchange for launching attacks against their rivals.

    “Some cybersecurity firms also attack a company with malware or viruses and then offer to help with their services,” Khang said.

    “This is totally possible in the ‘underground world’ of internet security, where the line between good and bad is thin.”

    One seasoned cybersecurity expert said that while the information security sector covers a wide range of aspects, “some people think that if they are good at one aspect, they are also an expert in other fields.”

    “So there are many incapable personnel in the cybersecurity market who cheat customers for money despite their poor knowledge,” he added.

    Capital city establishes four new industrial clusters     

    The People’s Committee of Ha Noi has approved the establishment of four new industrial clusters: Ngoc Liep, Dac So, Lien Ha and Phung Xa.

    Located in Quoc Oai and Hoai Duc districts, the 38ha Ngoc Liep and 6.3ha Dac So industrial complexes aim to attract projects in home appliances, wood processing, construction material construction production, machinery and engineering, chemical and cosmetics and agricultural processing.

    The Lien Ha and Phung Xa industrial clusters span a total area of 7ha in Dong Anh and Thach That districts and will process wood and furniture.

    The capital city plans to attract 15-20 new projects with expected total investment of US$250-300 million in industrial zones and clusters in the capital city this year, according to the municipal Management Board of Industrial and Processing Zones.

    Sectors to be prioritised include the part supplies, electronics and mechanics industries.

    The city-based industrial zones and clusters lured seven new projects worth more than $44 million in registered capital and expanded six existing projects worth $18.5 million over past five months of this year.

    To date, they have attracted 629 projects with total registered capital of $5.9 billion. More than half of the projects were foreign-invested, worth $5.34 billion, the board said. 

    MoIT extends deadline for requests on anti-dumping steel import tax     

    The Viet Nam Competition Authority (VCA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will continue to receive requests from manufacturers, traders and others seeking to ease or lift the anti-dumping tax on imported cold-rolled stainless steel from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan until July 31, 2017.

    On September 5, 2014, the MoIT issued a decision to impose anti-dumping duties on several cold-rolled stainless steel products imported to Viet Nam from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan. The first review was concluded on April 29, 2016.

    Anti-dumping regulations enable concerned parties to request an annual review of anti-dumping duties. The request for reviews includes the scope of products being subject to duty, the applicable anti-dumping tax rates, new exporters and more.

    On December 19, 2017, VCA started to get requests for a second review of the anti-dumping tax on cold-rolled stainless steel imported into Viet Nam until April 15, 2017.

    In May, the MoIT issued a response to the review proposal submitted by several steel import companies and firms that sell steel to Viet Nam. The second review covers the period from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017.

    However, during the review time, VCA continued to receive feedback from enterprises seeking to eliminate duties on some of the products subjected to tax.

    Therefore, VCA informed all those involved in cold-rolled stainless steel products that they can submit their requests to VCA before August 1. 

    Ba Ria - Vung Tau signs deal with Dutch firm for wastewater solution     

    Dutch-owned company Royal HaskoningDHV on Wednesday signed a contract with the Ba Ria - Vung Tau Urban Sewerage and Development Company for a complete wastewater solution benefiting over 175,000 residents of the Phu My New Urban Area.

    As part of the Facility for Infrastructure Development (ORIO programme) in developing countries financed by the Dutch Government, the 9.5 million euro (US$10.9 million) project will deliver sanitation to residents and industries whose wastewater is currently discharged untreated, resulting in severe pollution.

    A sewage plant will be built using the company’s bio-technology which is used in some 1,500 wastewater treatment plants around the world.

    It would have a capacity of almost 30,000 cubic metres a day, the company said.

    The company will also build four pumping stations, install 100km of pipels and connect 15,000 households and over 1,000 small-and medium-sized enterprises.

    During the operation and maintenance phase, it will provide technical assistance and training to BUSADCO workers.

    Hoang Duc Thao, chairman and general director of BUSADCO, said: "The construction of a complete wastewater collection and treatment system for Phu My New Urban Area has become an urgent issue and a priority for economic and social development of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province."

    It will be the third ORIO-funded project in Viet Nam that Royal HaskoningDHV will execute.

    The project, which will improve living conditions for around 400,000 people, also adds to the company’s growing number of environmental improvement schemes in Viet Nam, 10 of which are ongoing.

    The project is expected to be completed by December 2019. 

    Various interest rates drop sharply     

    The lending interest rate is expected to further expand with the interest rate reducing sharply in the inter-bank, central bank bill and G-bond markets over the past 10 days.

    According to a report from Maritime Bank’s market research division, a sharp drop in the interest rate has been continuously seen in the G-bond market this week.

    On Wednesday, the State Treasury issued VND3.6 trillion of G-bond with the interest rates falling sharply. The rates for five-year, 15-year and 20-year bonds declined by 0.21, 0.50 and 0.53 percentage points to 4.48, 5.75 and 6.02 per cent per year, respectively.

    Wednesday was also the third consecutive day the State Bank of Viet Nam successfully issued bills to withdraw money. The interest rate of the bills dropped sharply to 0.79 per cent per year against 1.1 per cent in the previous session and 1.75 per cent in the same period last year.

    Despite the significant withdrawal, which totalled nearly VND21 trillion (US$921 million), the interest rate on dong loans in the inter-bank market continued to slide sharply by 0.19 to 0.44 percentage points, hitting the lowest level from the beginning of this year. Specifically, overnight, one-week, two-week and one-month rates stood at 1.2 per cent, 1.36 per cent, 1.54 per cent, and 2.34 per cent, respectively.

    The inter-bank market also saw the rate of dong loans sliding to a lower level than that of the dollar. The overnight rate for dollar loans stood high at 1.31 per cent per year on Wednesday.

    After the central bank cut policy rates by 0.25 percentage points at the start of last week, a series of local banks reduced lending rates for priority sectors by between 0.5 and 1 percentage points per year. 

    VEIL inducted into FTSE 250 Index     

    The Vietnam Enterprise Investments Limited (VEIL) announced it has been inducted into the FTSE 250 Index under the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

    "We are extremely pleased to be the first Vietnamese focused investment company to warrant inclusion into the FTSE 250,” Dominic Scriven, executive chairman of Dragon Capital, said in a statement.

    “Since moving on to the London Stock Exchange in July 2016, VEIL has gone from strength to strength, benefitting from the strong underlying economic fundamentals of the Vietnamese economy and a highly rigorous investment approach,” he said.

    “VEIL’s inclusion in the FTSE 250 should help build on the progress we have made to narrow VEIL’s discount to NAV as a higher profile investment company."

    FTSE 250 Index includes 250 stocks that are traded on the LSE with total market capitalisation of 385.52 billion pounds (US$501 billion).

    The decision on VEIL’s inclusion in the FTSE 250 Index came into effect on July 18. On July 5, 2016, VEIL was admitted to the LSE – a step that was expected to raise trading liquidity and transparency for the fund certificates.

    Launched in 1995, VEIL is a closed-ended, focusing on Viet Nam’s listed and pre-IPO companies in the country that offer attractive growth and value metrics and strong corporate governance.

    The fund started with initial value of $12 million. According to the latest announcement, at close of business on July 17, VEIL’s unaudited net asset value reached $1.2 billion, or $5.49 per share.

    The top 10 Vietnamese firms in VEIL’s portfolio included dairy producer Vinamilk, phone and accessory distributor Mobile World Corporation (MWG), information-technology FPT Corporation and steel producer Hoa Phat Group, as well as aviation company Vietjet Air and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation.

    The value of investment in Vinamilk occupies 12.5 per cent of VEIL’s net asset value, followed by MWG (7.62 per cent), Military Bank (6.9 per cent) and Asia Commercial Bank (5.87 per cent). Total investment in the top 10 Vietnamese companies is equal to 58.6 per cent of the fund’s net asset value. 

    Can Tho attracts foreign investment in logistics centre     

    The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho is calling for Singaporean and Japanese investment for the regional logistics centre in the city.

    Nguyen Minh Toai, director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, said this at a meeting on attracting investment for the centre, held by the People’s Committee of Can Tho on Wednesday.

    The centre, spanning over 242.2ha in the Cai Rang Industrial Park, includes ports, container areas, goods uploading, distribution and services areas, Toai said.

    The city plans to invite capable and experienced investors from Singapore or Japan to invest in the centre to facilitate the transportation of goods from the Mekong Delta region to countries in the region and the world.

    Vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam urged the department and relevant bodies to build the centre based on regional conditions and potential.

    It is necessary to identify key products, traffic system and delivery network while planning the logistics centre, Nam said, also proposing measures to lure investors.

    According to the approved nationwide logistics centre system development plan by 2020 with orientation to 2030, the Mekong Delta region will have one regional logistics centre covering at least 30ha by 2020 and over 70ha by 2030.

    This logistics centre will serve Can Tho City, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, Vinh Long and Kien Giang provinces, as well as Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and An Giang provinces, and will connect with dry and river ports, airports, train and bus stations, as well as industrial parks and border gates. 

    Tra Vinh invites investment in Dinh An economic zone

    The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh is calling for investment in Dinh An economic zone, focusing on technical infrastructure, oil refining, deep seaport, airports, administrative services, education, training, scientific research, cultural exchanges, tourism and entertainment.

    Covering more than 39,000 hectares in Tra Cu and Duyen Hai districts, Dinh An is one of eight key marine economic areas nationwide, with conditions to develop the sea-based economy, electricity, petrochemicals, shipbuilding, navigation services and tourism.

    A passageway for ships of 20,000 tonnes to enter the Hau River is expected to become operational in 2017, which will facilitate domestic and international trade.

    So far, Dinh An economic zone has attracted 29 projects with total registered capital exceeding 151.3 trillion VND (6.65 billion USD) and generated nearly 2,500 jobs.

    Head of the management board of Tra Vinh economic zone Pham Van Tam suggested devising more incentives apart from policies to exempt or reduce land rent, corporate income tax, personal income tax and import-export tax.

    Businesses will get land clearance compensation and support to make environmental impact evaluation reports, as well as register for intellectual property protection, apply technologies to upgrade productivity and quality of products and receive assistance in vocational training.

    Pou Chen awaits investment certificate for new footwear factory

    IDEA Limited Company (a subsidiary of Pou Chen Group) singed a contract to rent land in Tan Tao Industrial Zone (IZ) and they are waiting for the investment certificate to invest and build a footwear factory in this IZ in Ho Chi Minh City.

    On April 28, 2017, IDEA Limited Company signed a contract to rent about 20 hectares of land in Tan Tao IZ with an estimated lease fee of about VND500 billion ($20 million). The land plot will house a footwear plant. The project may be divided into several phases, but in the first phase, IDEA will lease 6.5ha only.

    According to a source of VIR, the investor of this footwear factory project is actively finishing the necessary procedures, and if all goes well, the project is expected to receive the investment certificate soon.

     “With the aim of stable manufacturing and sustainable development, we hope to create new footwear chain as well as enhance product quality. Thus, to reach this aim, we decided to build a new plant in Tan Tan IZ,” Yeo Cheng Wu, representative of Pou Chen Group, said.

    Pou Chen Group is a footwear manufacturing giant also responsible for the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and original design manufacturing (ODM) for numerous famous footwear brands in the world, such as Nike, Adidas, Asics, and New Balance.

    Pou Chen Group entered Vietnam in 1994 with the first plant located in the southern province of Dong Nai. By the end of 2016, Pou Chen Group had seven sizable plants located in five cities and provinces in Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Tien Giang, Tay Ninh, and Long An. Its total investment in Vietnam has reached more than $1 billion and it has created jobs for more than 200,000 Vietnamese people.

    However, in recent years, Pou Chen’s Vietnamese workers have gone on strike several times. In particular, on February 27, 2016, about 17,000 workers in Pou Chen’s footwear factory in Dong Nai went on strike to protest a new rule they deemed unfair and unreasonable.

    Strikers said the company was bleeding them dry with the new regulation, which punishes workers who take off four days or more a year by withholding their year-end bonuses, according to a report by Lao Dong newspaper.

    After three days of strike, leaders of Pou Chen’s factory in Dong Nai rescinded the new regulation and agreed to pay the strikers’ salary for the three days to call them back to work.

    Previously, in March 2015, about 90,000 of Pou Chen’ workers in Ho Chi Minh City have gone on strike to oppose a new regulation under which they would not be allowed to take a lump-sum social insurance allowance after resigning from the company.

    Similarly, in 2011 and 2010, there were also strikes in different cities and provinces of Vietnam due to numerous conflicts between workers and Pou Chen, involving the benefits of both parties.

    Mercedes Benz's first authorised dealer in Vietnam reports first-time loss since 2012

    To compete with other automobile dealers, Haxaco Group, the first authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz in Vietnam, had to offer various discount programmes, thus racking up a big loss in the second quarter of 2017.

    Haxaco reports first-time loss since 2012

    Haxaco (sticker HAX on HoSE) released its financial statement in the second quarter of 2017 with a loss of over VND7 billion ($307,930). This was its first loss since 2012. Haxaco’s accumulated profit in the first half of 2017 was about VND19 billion ($835,810), a decrease of 43 per cent compared to the same period last year, as reported by Vnexpress.

    As one of three authorised dealers of Mercedes-Benz in Vietnam, Haxaco’s business results are a big surprise as Mercedes-Benz's sales in Vietnam significantly increased in the first half.

    According to the statistics of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA), 3,375 units of Mercedes-Benz were sold in Vietnam in the first six months of 2017, an increase of 37 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year.

    Leaders of Haxaco said that this loss was due to the growth of sales and administration expenses, as Haxaco offered a variety of promotion programmes to compete other dealers. Besides, Haxaco had to sell some C-class automobiles at a lower price because these automobiles have been in the warehouses for a very long time. This also negatively influenced Haxaco’s business results during this period.

    With the high sales of Mercedes-Benz in the second quarter of 2017, Haxaco generated nearly VND1.04 trillion ($45.7 million) of net revenue, a growth of 21 per cent compared to the same period last year.

    In the first half of 2017, Haxaco reported more than VND1.8 trillion ($79.2 million) of revenue, an increase of 40 per cent in comparison with the corresponding period last year. While other automobile dealers simultaneously conducted discount policies in Vietnam, Haxaco had to offer a wide range of promotions to support customers.

    Therefore, both sales and administration expenses doubled compared to the same period last year. These expenses were nearly VND62 billion ($2.7 million) in the first six months of 2017, against the VND30 billion ($1.3 million) last year.

    Besides, the number of imported automobiles left unsold in Haxaco’s warehouses sharply increased, leading to growing expenses (mostly in interest expenses). In the first six months of 2017, Haxaco took up over VND400 billion ($17.6 million) in short-term loans from commercial banks, thus, its interest expenses have been more than VND14 billion ($615,869), 3.5 times as much as in the corresponding period last year.

    According to the financial statement of Haxaco, this short-term borrowing derives from the growth of Mercedes-Benz car storage due to the increasing demand. As of the second quarter of 2017, Haxaco’s inventory increased to VND610 billion ($26.8 million), while it was VND390 billion ($17.1 million) at the beginning of the year.

    The rising storage of Mercedes-Benz urged Haxaco to sell off the old inventory, leading to the sales of C-class cars at a lower price than usual.

    US First Solar resumes long-delayed $1.2 billion project

    After years of failing looking for suitable investors to take its place and carry out the $1.2-billion project in Ho Chi Minh City, First Solar (US) has decided to resume the solar panel manufacturing project.

    The information has been confirmed by the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Management Authority (HEPZA).

    Late last year, in a conference call with investors and industry analysts to discuss the firm’s 2017 operations, chief executive officer Mark Widmar revealed that they could even look to use the plant in Vietnam that was built but has not yet put into operation.

    The project was licensed in January 2011 and started construction two months later. At the time, the investor said the facility’s $300-million first phase, with a production capacity equivalent to 250 megawatt per year, would start operations in late 2012.

    According to plans, the total investment in the project would eventually reach $1.2 billion. It would be the first solar panel manufacturing facility in Vietnam employing advanced thin-membrane technology.

    However, just eight months after the construction was kicked-off, the investor announced the decision to postpone the project.

    In 2012, First Solar Group announced plans to sell its factory and leave Vietnam. In February 2012, the American company completed the evaluation and approved a set of initiatives, including increasing manufacturing capacity, primarily intended to adjust its previously planned expansions and global manufacturing footprint.

    The US energy group reportedly appointed Cushman & Wakefield Vietnam, a real estate consultancy firm, to sell parts or the whole workshop. However, this still cannot be done due to unfinished legal procedures.

    SSI's Q2 stockbroking revenue doubles

    Saigon Securities Incorporation (stock code SSI) has released its business results for the second quarter and first half of the year, revealing that second-quarter stockbroking revenue doubled year-on-year.

    Total revenue in the second quarter stood at VND762.1 billion ($33.52 million), an increase of 9.5 per cent year-on-year, while pre-tax profit was VND402.3 billion ($17.69 million), up 10.3 per cent.

    Revenue in the first half was VND1.3 trillion ($57.18 million) and pre-tax profit VND731 billion ($32.15 million), an increase of 47.7 per cent year-on-year.

    Consolidated pre-tax-profit for the first half is expected to come in at VND735 billion ($32.33 million), representing 69.5 per cent of the annual profit plan.

    Securities services and investment activities again contributed most of the company’s revenue.

    As at June 30, SSI had total assets of VND15.9 trillion ($695.06 million) and equity of VND8.43 trillion ($370.84 million).

    Its market share in the second quarter was 15.35 per cent on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HSX) and 13.67 per cent on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), with the company continuing to be the No. 1 securities company in the country.

    Revenue from securities brokerage in the quarter reached VND185.9 billion ($8.17 million), double y-o-y. Outstanding margin loans also grew, reaching an average of VND3.9 trillion ($171.56 million) and up VND270 billion ($11.87 million) compared with the previous quarter. Total revenue from securities services in the second quarter was VND316.1 billion ($13.9 million), up 52 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2016.

    Stock investments contributed significantly to total revenue in the quarter, standing at VND328.5 billion ($14.45 million) and accounting for 43 per cent of total revenue.

    Revenue from capital resources was VND108.8 billion ($4.78 million) in the second quarter, accounting for 14.27 per cent of total revenue and increasing 27 per cent year-on-year. Revenue from investment banking and other activities reached VND8.8 billion ($387,132).

    Based on the positive results in the second quarter, SSI believes it will fulfill its business targets for 2017.

    SSI led securities brokerage firms in the first quarter with a market share of 14.12 per cent on HSX and 9.87 per cent on HNX.

    Coteccons' 1H revenue just 39% of annual plan

    Revenue of VND10.5 trillion ($461.9 million) posted by the Coteccons Construction Joint Stock Company (stock code CTD) in the first half of this year was up 29.5 per cent but represented just 39 per cent of its 2017 plan.

    Revenue in the second quarter was VND6.1 trillion ($268.34 million), up 23.6 per cent year-on-year, while after-tax-profit was VND412 billion ($18.12 million), up 16 per cent y-o-y. After-tax-profit in the first half was VND713 billion ($31.36 million), up 20 per cent year-on-year.

    Construction contracts were the main source of revenue, with revenue from financial activities of VND85 billion ($3.7 million) being primarily bank interest.

    Management expenses increased sharply, however, by 260 per cent, mainly due to a provision reversal while employee expenses and other expenses soared.

    Its earnings per share (EPS) at the end of the first half was VND8,799 ($0.38), down sharply from the VND12,090 ($0.53) at the beginning of the year.

    As at June 30, Coteccons’ inventory stood at over VND1.52 trillion ($66.8 million), an increase of nearly VND300 billion ($13.19 million) since the beginning of the year.

    The company also has short-term receivables from customers of VND3.5 trillion ($153.96 million) and provisions of VND249 billion ($10.95 million) for short-term receivables.

    It announced revenue in the first quarter of VND4 trillion ($176.2 million), up 27 per cent year-on-year and in line with expectations, according to Deputy General Director Tran Quang Tuan.

    Total contracts were valued at VND8.7 trillion ($383.4 million) in the first quarter, including in the second stage of the Ho Tram project, the Paihong factory, A&B Central Square Nha Trang, Dragonbay Ha Long, and Vinhomes Metropolis.

    KIDO's 1H revenue up 200%

    The KIDO Group Corporation (KDC) has released its consolidated results for the first half of this year, revealing net sales of VND2.9 trillion ($127.6 million), an increase of nearly 200 per cent year-on-year thanks to it acquiring the Vietnam Vegetable Oils Industry Corporation (Vocarimex) and the Tuong An Company (TAC).

    Frozen food contributed nearly 30 per cent to total net revenue and packaged food the remaining 70 per cent. Gross profit rose 30 per cent year-on-year.

    Pre-tax profit in the first half reached VND446 billion ($19.6 million), or 91 per cent of the full-year target. The main driver was financial income from a revaluation of 24 per cent of its stake in Vocarimex.  

    KDC completed the acquisition of an additional 27 per cent in Vocarimex in May, raising its holding to 51 per cent and taking its share of the edible oil market to over 35 per cent.

    It also successfully completed a 50 per cent investment in the Dabaco Food Processing Co. in the second quarter, expanding its footprint in three key categories: fresh food, frozen food, and processed food.   

    Formerly the Kinh Do Corporation, KDC was established in 1993 and has grown to become one of the leading consumer product companies in Vietnam. Throughout the past 23 years of growth and development, it has expanded beyond the confectionery category to include ice cream, yogurt, desserts, frozen food, and edible oils.

    Its vision is to serve the needs of Vietnamese consumers by supplying daily food products in various brands that enhance lifestyles and meet consumer needs throughout the day.

    2017 will mark another key milestone, with its frozen food business expanding into new product segments. By maximizing is existing cold chain, the KIDO Frozen Food JSC (KDF) will begin selling additional products.

    Tuong An Vegetable Oil's 1H pre-tax profit up 34%

    One of Vietnam’s leading vegetable oil producers, the Tuong An Vegetable Oil JSC (TAC), has released its business result for the first half of this year, showing net sales of VND1.97 trillion ($86.6 million), an increase of 4.7 per cent year-on-year.

    Gross profit rose 25.5 per cent, largely attributable to a restructuring of its product mix. This led to an increase in its gross profit margin, from 9.1 per cent to 10.9 per cent. Pre-tax profit was VND63 billion ($2.77 million), up 34.2 per cent year-on-year.  

    A key factor behind the increase in profitability was changing its product strategy to focus on higher margin products. TAC also improved its inventory management by creating greater efficiencies in the sales process.

    Apart from restructuring its product portfolio, TAC also reviewed its distribution network during the first half to assess growth potential in each product. This will result in better mapping of product demand and consumer tastes to achieve better sales efficiency.

    TAC is to launch new oil products in the second half that are nutritious and healthy to better cater to ongoing increases in demand and needs among consumers. It will also introduce additional packaged products in the third quarter as part of its larger strategy to better utilize its distribution network.

    Established in 1977, the TAC brand has been familiar with many generations of Vietnamese over the last 40 years and is one of the largest producers and distributors of edible oils in the country. November 2016 was a key milestone, when the company officially joined the KIDO Group Corporation.

    Combined with best practice in management systems, effective marketing, and strong financial capacity it acquired from joining KIDO, it also significantly improved its business activities in the entire value chain, from purchasing and manufacturing to marketing, sales, and distribution.

    It strategy for the upcoming period is to concentrate on developing and diversifying its portfolio in value-added products, optimizing supply chains and operational efficiencies, and adopting a business model and brand campaign to remain the leader in Vietnam’s cooking oil industry.

    Citi launches new debit Mastercard

    Citi Vietnam will join ten key Asia-Pacific markets in issuing their customers with the new, contactless Citibank Debit Mastercard, following Citi’s global success in launching Mastercard debit cards around the world. 

    “At Citi, our goal is to deliver best-in-class products and services and to ensure a remarkable banking experience for our clients, wherever they are,” said Ms. Natasha Ansell, Vietnam Citi Country Officer. “The new Citibank Debit Mastercard is packed with features, benefits and privileges, including exclusive offers on dining, shopping, travel and lifestyle purchases.”

    Linked to the bank account of the customer, the Citibank Debit Mastercard performs standard functions such as cash withdrawals and purchase payments. The new card is also contactless-enabled, affording customers the convenience of paying for purchases at millions of merchants in almost 80 countries worldwide. 

    Debit cardholders will enjoy a suite of new features, including access to Mastercard’s highly successful Priceless® Cities program, which provides exclusive travel and lifestyle experiences in more than 45 destinations around the globe. 

    Citi Vietnam has commenced issuing the new Debit Mastercard to their customers, with all expected to receive the new card soon. 

    “We have accelerated efforts to transform our model to be simpler, dramatically faster, more scalable and far more digital,” said Ms. Ansell. “Mastercard is well respected for its global leadership and role in driving payments innovation, and we are very pleased to continue our work together to make payments simpler, easier, and more secure for our clients.”

    Citi was one of the first major bank partners of Masterpass, which allows cardholders to pay with any enrolled credit, debit anywhere online or on an app, and use any device, eliminating the need to enter payment and shipping details every time they make a purchase.

    “Beyond the convenience of making cash withdrawals and point-of-sale transactions anywhere in the world Mastercard is accepted, Citi customers will have access to new functionalities on their debit cards, from making secure online transactions to contactless mobile payments and more,” said Ms. Julienne Loh, Executive Vice President, Global Products and Marketing, Asia Pacific, at Mastercard.

    According to Euromonitor, debit card is the fastest growing payment method in Asia-Pacific, representing 58 per cent of card payment volumes at around $6.58 trillion. In 2016, debit transactions grew at a CAGR of 21 per cent, outpacing both credit transactions (18 per cent) and cash (13 per cent). Higher growth in transactions compared to average ticket size further indicates an increasing preference for using debit cards for everyday transactions.

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNEVET


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  • 07/24/17--01:22: Article 3
  • Two dead, 10 injured in multiple-vehicle crash in Ho Chi Minh City


    At least two people have been killed and 10 others injured after a pile-up involving a dozen cars and motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh City.


     
    The scene of the multiple-vehicle accident in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City on July 22, 2017. Tuoi Tre

    A seven-seater car crashed into three other cars and nine motorbikes near the intersection of Ha Huy Giap with To Ngoc Van Streets in District 12 on Saturday night, resulting in two people dying and 10 others wounded.

    The deceased were identified as Le Cong Dung, 63, who hailed from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, and Doan Tuan A., 15, a resident of District 12.

    The four automobiles and nine motorcycles were seen being badly damaged at the scene.
     According to initial information, the seven-seater car was traveling on Ha Huy Giap Street toward the To Ngoc Van-Ha Huy Giap intersection at around 8:00 pm when it rammed the nine motorbikes and three cars running on the two-way street.
    “We are still trying to figure out the exact cause of the accident,” said Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Tam, deputy chief of the police department in District 12.

    Some witnesses presumed that the driver of the seven-seater car had mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake one, VnExpressreported.



     


    TUOI TRE NEWS


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