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Business in brief
Date :  13/03/2018
(Sourced from various news agencies)
  • Vietnam remained the third largest trading partner of Laos in 2017, trailing Thailand and China, according to the Vientiane Times. The newspaper quoted the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce as saying that two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos reached more than US$1.27 billion last year, with Laos’ imports of goods from Vietnam worth US$552 million. Last year, the landlocked country’s exports rose by 13.4% to more than US$4.8 billion while its imports climbed by 7.6% to more than US$4.5 billion. Laos’ major export markets were also Thailand, China, and Vietnam, followed by India, Japan, Germany, and the United States. The Southeast Asian country’s main exports were electricity, goal, camera accessories, garments, sugar, cassava, coffee, rubber, and corn. Two-way trade values between Laos and its two largest trading partners, Thailand and China, were US$5.3 billion and US$2 billion respectively. (NDO)
  • Ninety-six outstanding enterprises in the “Vietnamese people prioritise using made-in-Vietnam goods” campaign will be announced at an awards ceremony to be broadcast live on VTV1 on March 17. Specifically, 10 business will be awarded with the “Top 10 Vietnamese product brands” title, while 10 others will be named in the “Top 10 businesses holding excellent Vietnamese brand services” category. The remaining will receive the “outstanding Vietnamese brand enterprises” award. The competition, the second of its kind, was launched in October 2017, with nearly 300 enterprises from across Vietnam nominated. The event, held for the first time in 2014, aims to honour outstanding Vietnamese products and services, and encourage domestic enterprises to invest in production and business and take advantage of science and technology advances to increase product quality. (VNA)
  • The Turkish Ministry of Economy has launched an anti-dumping investigation into core welding wire imported from Vietnam. The investigation is based on petitions filed by Gedik Kaynak Trade and Industry Ltd., Co. and Oerlikon Welding Electrodes and Industry Ltd., Co. They have alleged that increased imports of the product have caused significant losses for the Turkish indsutry. The Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade said the investigation agency will send the questionnaire to concerned businesses that the agency is aware of. Those that do not receive the questionnaire can download it at the Turkish Ministry of Economy’s website at www.economy.gov.tr. The businesses have 37 days to answer the questions from the day the notice was issued. (VNA)
  • The garment-textile sector is aiming for a growth of 10% in 2018 in spite of huge challenges in the global market, said Le Tien Truong, Director General of the Vietnam National Textile Garment Group. To realise the target, the sector will improve product quality and ensure on-schedule deliveries at reasonable prices to enhance its competitiveness. The use of technology will be enhanced to increase automatic production, as well as IT-based management and workers’ skills. Nguyen Xuan Duong, Chairman of the Director Board of Hung Yen Garment Corporate underlined the challenges facing the sector, saying that export prices may fall, while production costs increase. Enterprises need to devise measures to become more productive and reform their management, Duong said. Vietnam’s garment-textile sector is forecast to face huge challenges and fierce competitions in 2018, particularly from China, Myanmar and Cambodia. The sector earned 4.3 billion USD from exports in the first two months this year, up 22.3% year on year. (VNA)
  • Japonica rice is likely to become one of the main rice varieties for export of Vietnam in the coming time, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). This variety currently accounts for a small share of the rice export structure, but the export volume of it has grown rapidly over the past year, reaching 4.4% of the country's total rice export in 2017, said the VFA. The association said variety and quality of Vietnam’s export rice has changed remarkably in recent years, with a dramatic growth of fragrant rice from 6.6% in 2011 to 23.5% in 2017. Shipments of sticky rice also saw the same growth during the same period. According to VFA, this is a positive trend as export of low-grade rice will gradually reduce, replaced by high-quality rice, thus improving the efficiency of rice production and export business. Last year, Vietnam earned 2.6 billion USD from the export of 5.8 million tons of rice. In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects the country to export 6.5 million tons of rice. (VNA)
  • HCM Stock Exchange has announced the results of registration for the shares auction of Vinafood 2. Up to 114,831,000 shares will be  put up for sale for the first time in the run-up to the IPO, at a starting price of VNĐ10,100 (44 US cents) per share. The IPO is scheduled to take place at 9am on March 14. Forty one investors registered to take part in the auction, including 31 domestic investors and 10 foreign investors. The total registered volume was 115,603,300 shares, of which 115,096,500 shares were from domestic investors. According to the equitisation plan of Vinafood 2, the charter capital after equitisation will be VNĐ5 trillion, of which the State will hold 255 million shares, representing 51% of the charter capital. The number of shares offered in the IPO is over 114.8 million. Nearly five million shares will be sold to employees. The stake sold to the trade union organisation at the enterprise is 200,000 shares, representing 0.04% of the charter capital. (VNS)
  • The Hana Financial Group has decided to expand its business in Vietnam by acquiring a stake in Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV). BIDV is one of Vietnam’s four State-run commercial banks. Business Korea quoted a local financial official that KEB Hana Bank was going forward with the acquisition and was reportedly close to signing a deal. The deal will proceed in a way that BIDV will raise new capital through capital increase to improve its financial structure, and Hana Bank will purchase the new shares. According to a source, the only remaining process was to receive the approval of the State Bank of Vietnam while the work was being finalised. (VNA)
  • Two separate legal entities managed by Warburg Pincus would invest over 370 million USD in Techcombank, announced the bank on March 12. The investment is part of Techcombank’s equity raising effort to provide growth capital to fund its expansion and further solidify its leading position in Vietnam. This transaction of Warburg Pincus represents the largest-ever private equity investment in the country and brings Warburg Pincus’ total investment in Vietnam to over 1 billion USD. On the same day, Techcombanktranferred all of its capital at its subsidiary TechcomFinance to Republic of Korean conglomerate Lotte Group’s credit card arm, Lotte Card. According to TechcomFinance’s financial report of 2017, its total revenue was 28.7 billion VND, while its total expenditure was 7.1 billion VND. Its pre-tax profit reached 22.5 billion VND last year. (VNA)
  • MobiFone and shareholders of multimedia company Audio Visual Global (AVG) on Monday decided to cancel the share transfer agreement between the two companies. The decision was made several days after the Party Central Committee (PCC)’s Secretariat asked the Government to soon release the inspection results of a VNĐ8.89 trillion (US$395 million) acquisition by communications giant Mobifone. At the beginning of August 2016, the Government promulgated Document No 1344/TTg, asking the Government Inspectorate to investigate the acquisition. The Inspectorate found serious violations in the acquisition. Last Thursday, the Party Central Committee’s Office issued official letter No 6106-CV/VPTW on the handling of Mobifone’s acquisition of 95% of AVG shares, which says that this is a serious, complicated and sensitive matter. (VNS)
  • LienVietPostBank’s profit is predicted to increase by 27.4% to reach VNĐ2.2 trillion in 2018. According to VNDIRECT’s analysts, in 2017, the credit growth of LienVietPostBank, listed as LPB, was lower than predicted. But the bank’s deposit growth was higher than expected, so its loan-to-deposit ratio was only 67.4%, much lower than projected. LPB, therefore, still has plenty of room for credit growth. LPB has great networks in remote areas so the bank can approach a large number of customers who have never used banking services. The bank has already been allowed by State Bank of Vietnam to convert 185 post offices into banking transaction offices. According to LPB, 80 post offices were converted in 2017, and the remaining will be converted this year. (VNS)
  • Binh Duong province yesterday granted 19 investment certifications for the first phase of 2018 to domestic and foreign -invested enterprises. The 19 newly projects include 15 projects with FDI capital and four domestic projects. Since the January of 2018, Binh Duong has attracted US$ 435 million of FDI capital including 31 new projects with total registered capital hitting nearly US$ 234 million, 13 projects registered to adjust investment capital with total capital of US$ 141.5 million and 18 foreign investors contributed capital of nearly US$ 60 million. Currently, Binh Duong province is ranked second after Ho Chi Minh City in FDI attraction and is estimated to reach 12.98% of total investment capital of the country. Manufacturing and processing industries are ranked the first in list of investment attraction with total capital of US$ 274 million. The Netherlands is the biggest investor of Binh Duong with total capital of US$ 135.8 million, and South Korea and Taiwan are the second and third biggest investors in the province respectively. (SGGP)
  • Vinh Long province will host an investment promotion conference later this month, aiming to present its economic development achievements and potential, and policies on investment attraction. Truong Dang Vinh Phuc, Director of the Vinh Long Department of Planning and Investment, said the conference will take place on March 27, drawing 750 delegates from ministries, agencies, foreign embassies, international organisations, provinces and cities nationwide as well as domestic and foreign investors. At the event, the local authority will present certificates of investment registration and MoUs to 25 projects with a combined capital of 12.43 trillion VND (546.92 million USD). In the 2017-2020, Vinh Long is calling non-state budget capital in 67 projects capitalised at 27.568 trillion VND, focusing on industry, industrial complex infrastructure, rural agriculture, culture-tourism, transport infrastructure, urban-housing development, and trade-services. (VNA)
  • The northern province of Hai Duong attracted more than 185 million USD in FDI in the first two months of this year, up 39.8% year on year. According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, the locality licensed eight new projects with a total registered capital of 32.1 million USD, including five projects worth 24 million USD located outside industrial parks. During the period, nine projects increased their investment capital by 153.45 million USD, including two projects outside industrial parks with 23 million USD added. In order to attract more foreign investors, Hai Duong will focus on improving its investment environment and pushing administrative reform, while maintaining dialogues with businesses. Hai Duong has 370 FDI projects valued at more than 7.4 billion USD, directly generating jobs for over 170,000 labourers. (VNA)
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