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Business in brief
Date :  10/10/2018
(Sourced from various news agencies)
  • The Tokyo SME Support Center will join Vietnam Int'l Machine Tool & Metalworking Solutions Expo (Metalex Vietnam 2018) which will take place at Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) on October 11-13. The biggest company in Tokyo, Tokyo SME Support Center has supported small-and medium-sized enterprises for more than 50 years. It has organized various activities to connect Tokyo’s leading companies with those in ASEAN, particularly Vietnam. In June, the company established the “Support Desk Vietnam” to offer consultancy to Tokyo SMEs which plan to expand business in Vietnam. The pavilion of Tokyo SME Support Center at Metalex Vietnam 2018 will gather 14 Tokyo businesses specializing in mechanical electronics, industrial machinery, and two-wheel and four-wheel drive industries. Through the expo, Tokyo SME Support Center hopes to build up long-term partnership with Vietnamese businesses for mutual benefits. (VOV)
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has written to plant quarantine sub-departments, enterprises exporting farm produce to Malaysia and related individuals and organizations announcing Malaysia’s suspension of imports of Vietnamese chilies from September 14, reported the local media. The Malaysian Inspection and Quarantine Agency had recently detected plant protection drug residue exceeding the neighboring country’s permissible level in Vietnam’s chili shipments, leading to the suspension. Malaysia’s decision will affect Vietnam’s chili consumption in the coming days as Malaysia, South Korea and China are the three largest chili buyers of the country. As such, the Plant Protection Department under the ministry has requested Vietnamese chili exporters research and comply with Malaysia’s regulations on food safety to avoid damage to the economy and prestige of Vietnamese farm produce. Enterprises were also asked to review and closely supervise their manufacturing, collection and export processes to prevent shortcomings in the initial stages. (SGT)
  • Vietnam was the leading supplier of coffee to Russia in the first half of this year with import volume increasing by 59.3%. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), Vietnam’s share in Russia’s coffee market rose from 32.8% in the first half of last year to 49.9% in the first half of this year. However, Vietnam’s average coffee price was lower than that in other markets. To secure the leading coffee supplier to Russia, Vietnam is advised to focus on the export of processed coffee rather than Robusta coffee beans. Meanwhile in the last eight months of this year, Germany and the US remained the largest consumers of Vietnamese coffee with market shares making up 12.6% and 9.8% respectively. Strong growth was reported in exports to Indonesia (an eight-fold increase), Russia (over 66.6%) and the Philippines (over 46.6%). (VOV)
  • The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade yesterday worked with Lao Cai province Department of Industry and Trade and Hekou district (China) on a coordination plan to invite businesses to attend the 18th Vietnam-China border trade fair. The fair will take place from December 4-8 this year in Hekou, Yunnan province, expected to have 1,500 stalls. Of these, Chinese businesses will have 1,000 while Vietnamese will have 500 stalls. They will showcase electronic items, electrical equipment, auto, machines, minerals, wooden products, seafood, clothes, footwear, farm produce and fruits. The fair is part of key national trade promotion program hosted annually to introduce products which the two countries have strengths to help businesses seek partners and boost export. Organization board plans to invite 600 Chinese and international partners and 1,200 businesses to attend the fair. The number of visitors is expected to hit 200,000. (SGGP)
  • Vietnam raked in more than 3.2 billion USD from exporting auto accessories as of September 15, up 6.8% against the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs. The figure is higher than the import value of auto spare parts in the same period which stood at over 2.5 billion USD. Major importers of Vietnam’s vehicles and accessories include Japan, the US, Thailand, China, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Indonesia. Meanwhile, in the January-August period, a total of 28,816 cars were imported to the country, with the highest figure being from Thailand (22,080 units) and followed by Indonesia (3,093). It is predicted that a large number of imported vehicles of various models will keep entering the Vietnamese market in the last months of the year. These vehicles enjoy zero% import tax in line with the Southeast Asian countries’ commitments to lower tariffs from 2018. (VNA)
  • Automobile sales in September surged by 24% from the previous month to reach 25,351 units, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAVA) reported on October 9. Among the total, the sales of special-purpose vehicles saw the strongest rise at 36% from August figures with 513 units, followed by the sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles, with the increases of 24% and 21% to 17,213 units and 7,625 units, respectively. Sales of domestically-assembled automobiles stood at 17,325 units, up 16% from August; whilst that of imported vehicles surged 42%, reaching 8,026 units, the association said. However, the automobile sales in the first nine months of 2018 went down 2% year-on-year, reaching only 194,391 units. Sales of imported vehicles dropped as much as 34%. The decrease is attributed to the issuance of Decree No.116/2017 ND-CP on tightening automobile manufacturing and trade, which took effect on January 1, 2018. (VNA)
  • The State Bank of Vietnam gave the nod to Nam Á Bank to open five new branches and 30 dealing rooms. Following the approval of the central bank, Nam Á Bank will open five branches in Quảng Ninh, Long An, Đắk Nông, An Giang and Tiền Giang provinces. Thirty dealing rooms will be opened in ten provinces: Lâm Đồng, Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu, Bến Tre, Ninh Thuận, Đăk Lăk, Phú Thọ, Tây Ninh, Cần Thơ and Kiên Giang. Each province will have three dealing rooms. The central bank asked Nam Á Bank to put these new branches and dealing rooms into operation within the next 12 months. This was a bold move by Nam Á Bank to expand its network. As of June 30, Nam Á Bank now has one head office, one center and 67 branches and dealing rooms nationwide. Along with expanding the network, Nam Á Bank was planning to raise its charter capital from around VNĐ3 trillion (US$130.5 million) to VNĐ5 trillion. (VNS)
  • VinFast Trading and Production Company has entered into a US$950 million financing agreement guaranteed by Euler Hermes and the German Export Credit Agency (ECA), to support the country’s first automotive and motorcycle manufacturing complex, Vinfast announced in its press release. The complex, Vinfast’s primary manufacturing base, is located in the Đình Vũ - Cát Hải industrial park in the northern port city of Hải Phòng. The agreement is also supported by Credit Suisse AG (Credit Suisse) and The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). Credit Suisse and HSBC are the Joint Mandated Lead Arrangers of this guaranteed term loan. The financing package is an up to 12-year $950 million Hermes-covered Buyers’ Credit facility for the payment of machinery and equipment from nine German suppliers. (VNS)
  • Vietjet will launch a three-day promotion on Wednesday with 700,000 promotional tickets priced from only zero đồng available at www.vietjetair.com. The tickets, which will avail between noon and 2pm, will be for all international routes to Tokyo and Osaka (Japan); Seoul, Busan and Daegu (South Korea); Hong Kong; Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung and Tainan (Taiwan); Singapore; Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai (Thailand); Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Yangon (Myanmar) and Siem Reap (Cambodia) from November 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. These discounted airfares will also be applied for domestic routes on ThaiVietjet – a  joint venture between Vietjet and Thai airline Kan Air – from November 1, 2018 to March 30, 2019. As a consumer airline, Vietjet has opened many new routes, added more aircraft, invested in modern technology and offered more add-on products and services to serve the demands of customers. (VNS)
  • Hoàn Mỹ Medical Corporation on Monday successfully issued VNĐ2.33 trillion (US$99.7 million) in dual-tranche fixed rate bonds. The issuance was placed by Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam and guaranteed by Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), a trust fund of the Asian Development Bank rated AA internationally by S&P. Hoàn Mỹ is the leading and largest private hospital network in Vietnam by number of hospitals and operating beds. With 14 hospitals and six clinics, Hoàn Mỹ serves more than 3 million patients annually, providing affordable, high-quality healthcare to the people of Vietnam. The VNĐ2.33 trillion dual-tranche fixed rate bonds were oversubscribed by a factor of 2.5 and are priced at an annual interest rate of 6.64% for the five-year maturity term, and 6.74% for the seven-year maturity term. (VNS)
  • Vietcombank is estimated to gain a profit of some VNĐ1 trillion (US$42.74 million) from its divestments at Military Bank (coded MBB) and Eximbank (coded EIB) this month. Vietcombank is due to auction 53.4 million MBB shares on October 15 to reduce its holding at Military Bank to 4.5% from the current 6.07%. Another auction of 45.37 million EIB shares will be held on October 22 to reduce Vietcombank’s holding at Eximbank from the current 8.19% to 4.5%. According to analysts from the Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), at the initial price of VNĐ19,641 per MBB share, Vietcombank will gain revenue of nearly VNĐ1.05 trillion from the divestment, of which VNĐ607.6 billion will be profit. The revenue and profit gained from Eximbank’s divestment will be VNĐ657.7 billion and VNĐ395.4 billion, respectively, SSI analysts estimated. (VNS)
  • The State Bank of Vietnam has allowed Tiên Phong Bank (TPBank) and Bản Việt Bank (Viet Capital Bank) to increase their charter capital through share issuances. According to the approval of the central bank last week, TPBank would increase its charter capital from the current VNĐ6.718 trillion (US$292 million) to VNĐ8.566 trillion by issuing shares as dividend payments from undistributed earnings and bonus shares from capital surplus for existing shareholders. Accordingly, TPBank would issue nearly 185 million shares in this charter capital increase, equivalent to 28% of the bank’s total shares. In August, TPBank completed the charter capital increase from VNĐ5.842 billion to VNĐ6.781 billion. (VNS)
  • Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) debuted on the UPCoM on Monday, but its shares were immediately restricted from trading, according to the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX). The reason for Vinalines’ stock trading restriction was that the audit agency had refused to release the final assessment of the company’s 2017 combined financial report, HNX said in a statement. Vinalines’ audit agency had refused to give comments on Vinalines’ financial report because of the firm’s problems with its subsidiaries, the northern market regulator said. Vinalines is recording an accumulative loss of VNĐ3.2 trillion (US$142.2 million). Therefore, Vinalines’ shares are now available for trading only every Friday. Vinalines started trading 5.4 million shares on UPCoM with ticker MVN at the starting price of VNĐ10,000 per share ($0.44). Vinalines shares will trade normally after the problem with audit agency is resolved, HNX said. (VNS)
  • Provinces in the Mekong Delta drew a total of 99 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the first nine months of 2018, said Nguyen Phuong Lam, Deputy Director of the Can Tho branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). During the period, the region absorbed more than 1.5 billion USD, or 10.6% of the total FDI capital flow into the country. The figure only stood at 5-6% five years ago, Lam added. In nine months, Can Tho city alone attracted 72 million USD in five new FDI projects, along with an additional 40 million USD in two existing projects. As of early October, the Mekong Delta is home to 1,495 valid FDI projects worth a total of 20.95 billion USD. Lam said that most FDI firms, particularly those from Japan, often pay heed to device manufacturing and technology in the region. (VNA)
  • The Industrial Zones Authority of Dong Nai province has revoked licenses of more than 170 FDI projects due to slow progress of implementation since the Foreign Investment Law came into effect in 1988. Those projects, which have combined capital of over 1.4 billion USD, accounted for only a small rate of total FDI projects in the province, according to the authority’s deputy head Mai Van Nhon. After 30 years, the province has attracted nearly 1,550 projects in its industrial zones, with total capital of more than 25 billion USD. Dong Nai province has 31 industrial zones, with about 1,700 tenant businesses, of which 70% is FDI businesses, generating jobs for more than 564,000 workers. According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, nearly 1.3 billion USD in FDI landed in the province in the first nine months of 2018, surpassing the yearly target by 30%. From January to September, Dong Nai licensed 81 new FDI projects worth 605 million USD and allowed 77 others to add an extra 694 million USD. (VNA)
  • The central province of Nghe An has so far this year granted investment licenses to 82 projects with a total registered capital of 7.58 trillion VND (325 million USD), representing decreases in both number of projects and registered capital. According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, the number of investment projects  decreased 29.2% compared to the same period last year while total investment capital fell 40.08% year-on-year. It admitted the slow implementation of many signed investment projects, adding that the province has withdrawn seven projects with slow progress. In addition, most newly-licensed projects in Nghe An have a small scale and low registered capital, he said, citing 55 out of 80 projects registered an investment capital of 50 billion VND (2.1 million USD) each. (VNA)
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