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Business in brief
Date :  12/02/2018
(Sourced from various news agencies)
  • Vietnam’s total trade value rose 46.2% to US$40.26 billion in January, according to the Vietnam Customs. Of the figure, export value reached US$20.22 billion, up 41% against the same period last year or US$5.88 billion. The export growth was mainly attributed to the increases of key export items like garment and textile up 25%, or US$278 million; computers and electronics up 21%, equivalent to US$225 million, machinery and spare parts up 24.6%, or US$134 million. However, phone exports dropped by 13.6%, equivalent to US$287 million. Meanwhile, imports soared 51.9.5% to US$20.04 billion on year-on-year basis. Key imports include petrol (up 137.5% or US$339 million), machinery (up 11.3%, equivalent to US$156 million), and plastics (up 16.3%, or US$57 million. (VGP)
  • The Vietnam dong’s interest rate on the interbank market exceeded 3% per annum for the first time over the past more than six months. The rate increased from 0.34-0.92%, pushing the overnight rate to 3.02%, one week at 3.28% and two weeks at 3.56%, respectively. The increase reflects higher demand for dong with the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival approaching. Meanwhile, the reference VND/USD exchange rate stands at 22,730 VND/USD as listed by commercial banks, dropping from the previous rate of between 22,745-22,750 VND/USD. The State Bank of Vietnam continues to buy a large amount of foreign currencies, with over 4 billion USD purchased since the beginning of this year, raising the country’s foreign reserves to more than 57 billion USD. (VNA)
  • Vietnamese goods are dominating the domestic market in recent days, thanks to reasonable prices and improved quality. More locally-made products are sold at major supermarkets in Hanoi such as Big C, Metro, Hapro and Fivimart than in previous years. Besides supermarkets, convenience stores are also putting more Vietnamese goods on their shelves. According to an owner of a convenience store in Hanoi, her store still imports foreign products but in modest quantities, mainly wine and tobacco. Most confectionary and gift packages are made locally. The increasing presence of Vietnamese products in the market was contributed to the “Vietnamese people prioritise Vietnamese goods” campaign, which was launched in 2009 nationwide to change customers’ attitude toward locally made products while enhancing the competitiveness of domestic enterprises. (VNA)
  • The HCM City Real Estate Association (HoREA) has recommended real estate companies transform themselves into publicly listed joint-stock businesses so they are able to seek greater funding to improve business performances in 2018. The association asked property developers to increase their equity to improve their internal strengths and study possible solutions to propose that the Government approve real estate projects as tradable assets, such as securities. In the document, it also suggested property developers should issue corporate bonds, project bonds, shares and consider listing on foreign stock exchanges to raise capital funding. To improve business performances, HoREA recommends businesses assure that earning targets are reachable and project developments are completed, so that they are qualified to receive loans from financial institutions. According to existing regulations, real estate firms are able to raise 70% of the contract value via advance payment from customers if the outputs are not yet transferred, and 95% if the outputs are handed over. (VNA)
  • Tax collection to the State budget was estimated at VNĐ99.5 trillion (US$4.4 billion) in January, according to a report by the General Department of Taxation. This was equivalent to 9.3% of the estimated budget collection for the full year. Budget collection from crude oil reached VNĐ4.1 trillion, rising by nearly 50% over the same period last year, as a result of the increase in the average oil price to $66 per barrel, which was $16 higher than the price in the estimate and $7.4 higher than the same period last year. Tax inspection helped collect VNĐ506.9 billion in January. The General Department of Taxation has also asked local tax departments to hasten the collection of tax arrears this year. According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Finance, the total budget collection was estimated at VNĐ114.2 trillion in January, representing a rise of 5.2% over the same period last year, in which domestic tax collection accounted for some 84%. (VNS)
  • Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc signed a decision on Thursday to appoint Nguyễn Hoàng Anh to the post of chairman of the special committee to manage State capital at enterprises. Anh is a former Secretary of Cao Bằng Province Party Committee. The Government issued Resolution 09/NQ-CP last Saturday to set up the special committee as an agency under the Government that acts as the ownership representative of State capital at wholly State-owned enterprises and at joint stock and liability companies with two or more members. The committee has a legal status, seal with the national emblem and an account opened at the State Treasury. Nguyễn Hoàng Anh was born in 1963 in Hải Phòng City’s An Lão District. He holds a master’s degree in world economy and international economic relations and a bachelor’s degree in political theory. He held the post of Secretary of Cao Bằng Province Party Committee from March 2015 to December 2017 before assuming the new role in the State capital management committee. (VNS)
  • Nguyễn Cảnh Vinh stopped assuming the position of general director of Southeast Asia Commercial Bank (SeABank) from February 8. This was revealed in the bank’s announcement on the change of senior staff. After Vinh’s termination, deputy general director Lê Văn Tần will take charge till a new general director is appointed. This is the second time in less than eight months Tần has been assigned the position of general director. He had earlier assumed the position on July 5, 2017, when Đặng Bảo Khánh resigned as general director of the bank. Born in 1974, Vinh graduated from the National Economics University and the National University of Civil Engineering. He also has a master’s degree from Australia’s Latrobe University. Vinh has 21 years of experience in banking and finance and has held many senior management positions, particularly in the retail sector. Prior to his stint at SeABank, Vinh was Techcombank’s deputy general director. Vinh took charge as the new general director of SeABank on September 25 last year. (VNS)
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) estimates to earn VND664 billion ($29.25 million) after the auction of Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Corporation II JSC (Vinasugar II). The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) has just published the list of investors and the registered shares to be bought at MARD's divestment of the State's holdings in Vinasugar II. There are seven investors taking part in the auction with total registered shares of over 63,7 million, 16,000 shares higher than the share volume put on offer. Five domestic individuals registered to buy 36.43 million and two domestic organisations registered to buy 27.28 million. Vinasugar II offers to auction over 63.69 million shares, equalling 93% of its charter capital on February 13 at the initial price of VND10.420 per share. MARD expects to acquire VND664 billion ($29.25 million) in proceeds. (VIR)
  • Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) issued convertible bonds worth a total 1.15 trillion VND (50.4 million USD), the company said on February 9. SSI did not disclose the buyer’s information but according to ndh.vn, the bonds, maturing in three years with the coupon rate of 4% per year, were issued to a foreign institution. This institution will help SSI expand its network to international markets, in line with the company’s long-term development strategy, the source said. At present, foreign capital accounts for 52.57% of its capital source. SSI is the top brokerage company in Vietnam’s stock market with total assets of over 18.76 trillion VND by the end of 2017, up 34% year-on-year. (VNA)
  • Tien Giang province has received positive investment signs since the start of this year, said Deputy Director of the provincial Planning and Investment Department Nguyen Dinh Thong. In early 2018, the province lured two new FDI projects worth nine million USD, comprising a garment-textile company and a steel pipe producing company. Tien Giang will continue stepping up administrative reform and support businesses in investment law and climate, the official added. The province is now home to 93 investment projects, including 66 FDI ones with total capital of more than 42.9 trillion VND (1.89 billion USD). Those projects generate jobs for some 83,000 workers while occupancy rate at the provincial industrial parks has hit 64.29%. The industrial production value of firms operating in the province’s industrial parks since the beginning of this year exceeded 5.2 trillion VND (230.83 million USD), up 21.77% year-on-year. Export turnover of those firms exceeded 180 million USD in the period, or an increase of 22.37% against the same time last year. (VNA)
  • For two years, Hải Phòng Chamber of Commerce, Investment and Tourism has played a key part in making the northern port city one of the most attractive destinations in the country. The chamber, created to support and provide prospective investors with a simple and fast communication channel to access the city’s numerous bureaus, a task said to be complicated and time-consuming. Deputy heads from Hải Phòng’s major administrative bureaus, such as Planning and Investment, Finance, Construction and Natural Resources and Environment, have offices at the chamber. This allows administrative procedures to be processed at a much greater speed. By the city’s estimation, the average time for a procedure to be completed or inquiry to be answered has been cut by almost half. Efforts at administrative reform and enhanced management capacity by local government agencies are the driving forces behind the city’s robust economic development in recent years. Total investment in the city by more than 20,000 enterprises with more than 500 foreign business has reached US$14.5 billion. (VNS)
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