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Business in brief
Date :  15/05/2018
(Sourced from various news agencies)
  • The proportion of FDI enterprises choosing to use commercial arbitration in cases of dispute is 40%. The information was announced by Phan Trong Dat, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam International Arbitration Center (VIAC), at a seminar themed ‘Commercial Arbitration – Increasing confidence in Foreign Direct Investment’ in Hanoi on May 11. The seminar focused on discussing the necessity and efficiency of the commercial arbitration method, as one of the most effective ways of resolving disputes related to FDI enterprises. The event is considered to be an important forum for lawyers and leading experts to share knowledge with enterprises and help Vietnamese enterprises to better understand and more effectively use the commercial arbitration method. Commercial arbitration is an effective tool in preserving capital inflows from legal risks in business investment. More than 100 delegates from FDI enterprises, counterpart enterprises, potential partners with FDI enterprises, many prestigious lawyers, and representatives from state management agencies attended the seminar. (NDO)
  • A wide range of telecommunications and IT products and services will be on display at the 2018 Vietnam ICT COMM to be held in HCM City next month. It will feature more than 350 booths set up by 250 exhibitors from 20 countries and territories, 50% higher than the number in the last two years. The products on display will include software, mobile applications, applications for enterprise, web solutions, hardware devices, wireless technologies, internet services, service management, electronic products and services, broadcasting equipment and services, network infrastructure, and others. It will also feature a number of seminars featuring leading local and international experts on topical issues such as application of IoT technology in cities, problems and solutions related to cyber security and penetrating the global technology market. There will be business matching programmes, “Application Market” and “Start-up Business Area.” Vietnam ICTComm will be held from June 7 to 9 at the Sai Gon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7. (VNS)
  • Exports of cement and clinker increased 29% to nearly 10 million tons valued at US$300 million during the first four months of the year, according to the Construction Material Department under the Ministry of Construction. The general picture shows that total cement consumption at home and abroad in April reached 8.77 million tons, a year-on-year rise of 20%, bringing the total volume sold in the four months to 29.83 million tons, up 13% against the same period last year. April saw strong growth in the domestic market’s consumption of cement due to a period of weather which was favourable for construction. A further boost was that cement prices had inched up compared to previous months. In the first quarter of the year, cement exports to most markets achieved higher growth than in the same period last year, with exports to Southeast Asian countries exceeding 40% in both volume and value. Taiwan became the fastest growing market in the period, trailed by Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. (VOV)
  • Fitch Ratings has upgraded Vietnam's sovereign rating based on rising foreign-exchange reserves and strong economic growth. Bloomberg cited Fitch's announcement on May 15 that shows the rating on the nation’s long-term, foreign currency-denominated debt was raised one level to BB, with a stable outlook. The upgrade puts Vietnam at the second-highest speculative grade and on par with Costa Rica. The rating agency also forecast that Vietnam's foreign reservices would increase to about 66 billion USD by the end of this year from 49 billion USD in 2017, while general government debt is likely to decline to below 50% of gross domestic product by 2019. According to Fitch, the country's economy can expand 6.7% this year. Most economic forecasts since early April said Vietnam’s GDP growth will be 6.5% or higher in 2018. (VNA)
  • Belgium’s Flanders Agricultural Marketing Board held a press conference in Hanoi on May 14 to announce a plan to develop the Belgian potato market share in Vietnam. Attending the event were five largest Belgian businesses major in exporting potato products and specialties to 100 different markets globally, including Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost and Mydibel, and the Belgian fries group. The event was part of activities on the occasion of the Minister-President of Flanders’s visit to Vietnam from May 13-17 to seek business opportunities. Belgium is the world’s largest frozen fries exporter, with over 90% being shipped abroad. In 2016, Belgium’s fries export grew by 14.3% to 1.68 million tonnes. (VNA)
  • The National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) has proposed to increase the fee for money withdrawal from its ATM network by four times for each transaction from August 1. NAPAS sent a document to some commercial banks which are under its inter-bank connection system on the fee hike which would be from the current VNĐ2,200 to VNĐ8,800 (US$0.39) (including tax). Accordingly, the fee rise would be applied to credit institutions which issue cards but do not have ATM machines. Fees for banks that have their own ATM machines would be kept unchanged. NAPAS said the fee increase was aimed at ensuring benefits of relevant parties and encouraging development of ATM network. Currently, banks have focused on issuing cards but not investing in the ATM network due to high investment and operation costs, it said. (VNS)
  • State corporations and groups have been found to have committed violations worth nearly VNĐ350 trillion (US$15.5 billion) in State capital usage and management during the 2011-2016 period, according to the Government Inspectorate. The figure was counted following 19 inspections carried out by the Government Inspectorate during the period. Most violations found at State businesses and corporations related to investment procedures, the purchasing of public assets, and weak management capacity that led to other violations in economic management and regulations. Limitations in inspection and supervision tasks of relevant ministries and agencies are also blamed for the wrongdoings in State capital management at these businesses, according to the Government Inspectorate’s report. The Government Inspectorate proposed to take nearly VNĐ1 trillion (US$44 million) from the money in violations for the State budget, and proposed other relevant agencies handle the remaining money. (VNS)
  • Japanese air-conditioning giant Daikin Industries will open its first production base in Vietnam this Friday (May 18), marking its newest step to boost presence in the country. Located in the northern province of Hung Yen, the $100-million factory has a capacity of 500,000 units a year, which is planned to increase to one million units by 2020, to cash in on the growing demand for residential-use air conditioners in the country, which is predicted to rise to 40% (market penetration) by 2020 from the current 22%. Over the past few years, Daikin has been importing air conditioners to Vietnam, mainly from its subsidiary in Thailand. The Thai production facilities have been operating at full capacity since the third quarter of 2015 due to growing demand from Vietnam and other markets. Also, supply have lately failed to keep pace with demand. With Daikin's move in, competition in the local market is expected to heat up. Other market leaders are now Panasonic, Samsung, Gree, LG, Midea, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Toshiba, and Electrolux. (VIR)
  • Vietcombank and BIDV have issued official warnings to customers over online phishing scams. Both banks have reported information theft through e-banking counterfeiting, with cardholders’ negligence taken advantage of to steal their personal information, card data and passwords by asking them to input these on a fake website programmed to resemble the banks’ authentic online platform. For example, two fake addresses were listed as homebank247.com/Bidv, or homebank247.com/Vietcombank. These fraud sites used forged interfaces mimicking the two banks’ real online banking services domains. Vietcombank and BIDV confirmed that their official registered websites are vietcombank.com.vn and bidv.com.vn, respectively. (VNS)
  • Techcombank has completed the sale of 64.4 million treasury stocks, collecting more than VNĐ8.24 trillion (US$361.5 million), the bank announced. The shares, equivalent to 5.85% of the bank’s capital, were sold between April 27 and May 7 at an average price of VNĐ128,000 ($5.61) per share through transactions on the Vietnam Securities Depository Centre (VSDC). In the first phase (March 21 to April 19), Techcombank also offloaded 93.2 million treasury stocks, equalling 9.39% of its capital, for VNĐ8.48 trillion, or at VNĐ91,000 per share. After the two offerings, Techcombank has raised more than VNĐ16.7 trillion. In the third quarter of last year, Techcombank paid more than VNĐ4.04 trillion to buy back nearly 172.4 million stocks (treasury stocks), equivalent to just VNĐ23,459 per share. The bank’s share value has risen by more than five times since then. (VNS)
  • The TMA Bình Định IT Park will be built at an estimated cost of US$10 million at the Quy Hòa science and education urban area in Quy Nhơn City, chairman of TMA Solutions Nguyễn Hữu Lệ said. Within the framework of the 14th Meet Vietnam programme, Lệ said that the initial investment for the 15.6ha park will focus on software development while additional capital will be poured into developing an innovation and technology transfer centre. The province granted a licence to the project, he said, hoping that the construction of the park will be completed by 2019. TMA eyes to attract 2,000 labourers in 15 years, with priority given to local students, he said, adding that TMA has joined hands with various universities to prepare human resources for the project. Last year, TMA Solutions and Bình Định province inked an agreement on software development cooperation. In January 2018, the company got the locality’s nod to survey and set up the TMA Bình Định IT Park project in Quy Nhơn City. (VNS)
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