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Business in brief
Date :  11/01/2018
(Sourced from various news agencies)
  • Vietnam saw a decline in cash withdrawals for the third consecutive year in 2017, with the rate reducing from 15 per cent in 2016 to 10 per cent in 2017, reports from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) showed. The SBV has so far implemented a plan to develop card payment using card readers at points of sale (POS) and mobile points of sale (mPOS) from 2017 to 2020, which is aimed at boosting the non-cash payment in Vietnam, as approved in Decision 2545/QĐ-TTg by the Prime Minister. Accordingly, the ratio of cash to total payment instruments will be below 10 per cent by the end of 2020. The plan has set a target of gradually increasing the number and value of card payment transactions using card readers. By 2020, the whole market will have more than 300,000 card readers installed at POS to process some 200 million transactions per year. (VNS)
  • Vietnam has transformed from a steel-importing country to a producing nation, with the export of 300,000 tons of steel billets last year. According to the report, Vietnamese steel billets are mainly exported to markets in the Philippines and Indonesia, with the average prices ranging from US$480 to $500 per ton, depending on the period. Besides billets, Vietnam also exported more than one million tonne of construction steel in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 62 per cent. The total steel consumption in the country in 2017 is estimated at nearly 18 million tonnes, up 20.7 per cent compared to the previous year. Prior to this, VSA forecast the steel industry to grow by 12-15 per cent in the next five years. Of which, cast iron output is forecast to increase 80 per cent to reach 4.5 million tons, while steel billets will jump 47.2 per cent (11.5 million tons), finished steel products up 12 per cent (20 million tons), cold rolled coils up 13 per cent and steel pipes up 15 per cent. (VNS)
  • Vietcombank said it will continue reducing its loan interest rates for five groups of prioritised borrowers in 2018 in accordance with Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). Vietcombank is the first commercial bank to announce its plan to lower loan interest rates as part of activities to implement the Prime Minister’s Resolution No. 01/NQ-CP issued on January 1, 2018, and the SBV Governor’s direction. Accordingly, interest rates for short-term loans in Vietnamese dongs will be no higher than 6 percent per year, applied for those who need capital for a number of economic sectors. The targeted groups are those who use loans for agricultural and rural development, exports, small- and medium-sized enterprises, supporting industry, and those using high technology. The preferential interest rates will be applied from January 15 to December 31, 2018. (VNA)
  • The Power Generation Corporation 2 (EVNGENCO2) is taking necessary steps to conduct the IPO in June, according to Director General Truong Hoang Vu. The corporation has completed value evaluation and selected consultancies for developing its equitisation plan, he said. EVNGENCO2, a member of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), produced more than 16.74 billion kWh of electricity last year, up 10.28 percent from 2016. It accounted for about 13.67 percent of EVN’s electricity output and 8.49 percent of Vietnam’s total power generation. Ending 2017, the company earned more than 22.9 trillion VND (916 million USD) in total revenue and nearly 3.14 trillion VND (125.6 million USD) in profit. It paid over 2.1 trillion VND (84 million USD) to the State coffer. The power producer sets the target of generating over 16.78 billion kWh of electricity this year, up 0.25 percent from 2017. It also plans to put Song Bung 2 Hydropower Plant into operation and join the country’s competitive power market in 2018. (VNA)
  • The Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage JSC (Habeco) is set on earning 8.3 trillion VND (332 million USD) in turnover and 955.4 billion VND (83.2 million USD) in pre-tax profit in 2018, an increase of 6.7 percent and 0.3 percent from last year, said Habeco Director General Ngo Que Lam. The brewer will also contribute an estimated 5.37 trillion VND (214.8 million USD) to the State budget. Ending 2017, Habeco reported total revenue of nearly 7.8 trillion VND (311.2 million USD) and paid more than 4.8 billion VND (192.5 million USD) into the State coffer. The corporation will list 231.8 million shares, equivalent to the total listing value of about 2.32 trillion VND (103 million USD), on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) on January 19. Shares of the North’s largest brewer are trading at some 128,000 VND per share on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), which is under the management of the Hanoi Stock Exchange. (VNA)
  • Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) reported a pre-tax profit of more than VNĐ5 trillion (US$220 million) in 2017, posting an increase of 20 per cent against the previous year. The bank announced that its total assets reached some VNĐ1.2 quadrillion, a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent. The capital mobilised was relatively high at VNĐ1.1 quadrillion, rising by 15 per cent from the previous year’s figure. The bank also reported outstanding loans amounting to more than VNĐ900 trillion, 17.6 per cent higher compared to 2016. Its loans have primarily focused on agricultural production and the farming sector, aiming to support rural areas in Việt Nam. According to Agribank’s chairman Trịnh Ngọc Khánh, the bank had achieved all business targets assigned by the central bank in 2017. (VNS)
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