BUSINESS NEWS 2/8

CPI slightly increases in July

BUSINESS NEWS 2/8

Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in July rose by 0.18 percent month-on-month, and 2.44 percent from the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Among the 11 main commodity groups, nine experienced price rises, including goods and other services with the highest rise of 0.94 percent; food and catering services (0.33 percent); education (0.22 percent); culture, entertainment and tourism (0.15 percent), beverage and tobacco (0.12 percent).

The prices of transportation; and housing, electricity, water and construction materials saw the same price drop of 0.03 percent.

Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc said the rise in July’s CPI was fuelled by high prices of food, especially pork which swelled 0.81 percent from the previous month.

In addition, the petrol price was up 0.04 percent compared to June, resulting in a 0.002 percent rise of the CPI of this good in July.

Meanwhile, the CPI of the health insurance group in July increased 6.67 percent month-on-month due to the increase of basic salary.

There was an increase in the tuition fees in some provinces and central-level cities under a Government Decree.

The VND/USD exchange rate in July decreased by 0.56 percent.

During the month, the domestic gold prices was around 3.97 million VND (171.06 USD) per tael, 4.78 percent higher than the previous month.

The GSO said core inflation (CPI exclusive of foodstuff, fresh food, energy, healthcare and education service) in July and the first seven months of 2019 respectively increased by 0.23 percent and 1.89 percent, compared to the same period last year.

Vietcombank leads in first-half pre-tax profits

The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) posted the highest pre-tax profits among Vietnamese banks in the first six months of 2019, raking in more than 11.04 trillion VND (474.7 million USD), up 43.1 percent on-year.

The figure helped Vietcombank become the first bank in Vietnam to record pre-tax profits exceeding 10 trillion VND in the first half of a year.

During the period, the Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) obtained second place with 5.66 trillion VND in pre-tax profits, an annual increase of 19 percent.

The Military Bank (MB) and Asia Joint Stock Commercial Bank (ACB) followed closely with more than 4.3 trillion VND and 3.62 trillion VND, respectively.

The figures for the Vietnam International Bank (VIB) and Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) were over 1.8 and 1.6 trillion VND, both representing an annual growth of 58 percent.

Meanwhile, the Sai Gon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) and Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LienVietPostBank) ended their first half with pre-tax profits of nearly 1.5 trillion VND and some 1.1 trillion VND, respectively.

The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) have yet to unveil their figures.

JICA and VASS promote comprehensive cooperation

The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vietnam Office has just signed a memorandum of cooperation for Vietnam’s development.

Accordingly, JICA Vietnam Office and VASS want to coordinate in the development of Vietnam's socio-economic development strategy for the period of 2021-2030 (SEDS 2021-2031), the Provincial Socio-Economic Development Plan (P-SEDP 2021-2025) of Ben Tre and Ha Giang provinces, and in studying Asian emerging countries.

JICA Vietnam offers the necessary assistances to promote future collaboration in research activities between VASS and JICA Research Institute.

Both sides have cooperated in many fields for 9 years, supporting the draft of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy for the period of 2011-2020 and helping Lam Dong province in development of innovative policy model in order to promote investment in agricultural sector.

German fund invests $28 million in Vietnamese sugar company

Thanh Thanh Cong-Bien Hoa JSC (SBT) has announced that the German development finance institution DEG, owned by the German Government, invested $28 million to buy convertible preferred dividend stocks at VND30,000 ($1.26 ) each, 84 percent higher than SBT’s market price on July 25.

The preferred stock will be subject to transfer restrictions for at least one year from the issuance day.

The preferred dividend period will be 6.5 years with a fixed dividend of 5.5 percent a year for the first 1.5 years and based on mutual agreement for the following years.

The stocks will not have voting rights but can be converted into common stocks by agreement between the two parties. The conversion price will be decided mutually at the time of conversion but will not exceed VND38,000 ($1.63 ).

The transaction is expected to be completed in September, increasing SBT's capital by 3.7 percent to VND6.084 trillion ($262.14 million ).

The company will use the money to make strategic investments in the sugar business of HAGL in Laos it bought in 2017 and mechanise and expand its organic sugar production.

SBT said this year it has also invested in Cambodia to expanding its sugarcane sourcing area in Indochina to 70,000ha.

In the HCM Stock Exchange’s latest update to the blue-chip VN30 Index in July 2019, a basket of 30 stocks with the largest market capitalisation and highest liquidity, SBT retained its place and remains the only company from the sugar industry in the VN30 basket.

Registered FDI capital in Vietnam exceeds US$20.2 billion

In comparison with the same period last year, foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in Vietnam in the first seven months of this year dropped by 12 percent.

Newly-registered and additional FDI capital declined while capital contribution and purchase of shares sharply jumped by nearly 78 percent.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in the first seven months of this year, total registered foreign investment capital exceeded US$20.2 billion. Of which, there were 2,064 newly-registered projects with total investment of nearly $8.3 billion and 791 projects asking to add total additional capital of $3.42 billion. Capital contribution and purchase of shares of 4,387 projects were worth more than $8.52 billion. Implemented FDI capital since the beginning of this year exceeded $10.5 billion.

Industrial processing and manufacturing still attracted most FDI capital, followed by real estate and wholesale, retail and repair of automobiles and motorbikes.

Noticeably, lately, Vietnam and the EU officially signed the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). The EVIPA is expected to boost FDI capital from the EU to Vietnam as the EU’s investment liberalization into Vietnam will be increased, especially in some specialized services, finance, telecommunications, transport and distribution.

Tien Giang seeks PM’s help on expressway project

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang is planning to seek help from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to resolve the funding issues with the Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway project, which may otherwise be suspended next month.

Tran Van Dung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, confirmed the decision of the local government to The Saigon Times on Thursday.

The central Government had earlier pledged to allocate more than VND2.1 trillion (US$94 million) from the State budget to fund the project partially.

However, Luu Xuan Thuy, Vice Chairman of the HCMC-based Deo Ca Group and a member of the consortium involved in the project, had said at a recent meeting that the funding is yet to be disbursed.

Due to the delay in funding, the bank offering the loan for the project has been unable to make the disbursement either, as this is a prerequisite, according to Thuy.

Vice Chairman Dung said the stalemate has prompted the provincial authority to seek a meeting with the Prime Minister. The meeting is aimed at briefing the Government leader on the project and looking for solutions to the hurdles facing it.

He added the provincial government had advanced VND228 billion (US$9.8 million) from the local budget for the project’s site clearance activities.

At a meeting in Tien Giang on July 24, Mai Manh Hong, general director of the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway BOT JSC, said the investor had also spent around VND2.5 trillion (US$107 million) on site clearance, compensation, and other construction components.

He had said work on the expressway project could be suspended at the end of next month due to lack of capital.

A day earlier, workers with a contractor in charge of a construction package of the project stopped work and put up banners, demanding payments of arrears from the investor.

Their action came after the investor failed to make payments to the contractor, who was facing difficulty in paying salaries to its workers.

The four-lane expressway, around 51 kilometers long including access roads stretching 4.5 kilometers, will run through five outlying districts of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang. It will start at the intersection of the Than Cuu Nghia T-Junction and the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway, and end at the intersection with National Highway 30.

The expressway, once in place, is expected to shorten the distance and travel time between HCMC and the Mekong Delta provinces, bolster the socioeconomic growth of Vietnam’s southwest region, and reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 1.

Samsung SDS holds 25% stake in local IT firm

Samsung SDS, a member of South Korea’s Samsung conglomerate, along with Vietnamese information technology service firm CMC, signed a strategic partnership on July 26, following Samsung’s acquisition of a 25% stake in the Vietnamese enterprise.

The investment contract is a comprehensive technology cooperation between Samsung SDS and CMC. However, neither company disclosed the value of the investment.

According to the agreement, Samsung SDS representatives will join the board of directors of CMC, share business strategies and build mutual growth programs. In cooperation with Samsung SDS, CMC will receive benefits from the technology Samsung will share, as well as the market potential, therefore enhancing the Southeast Asia market.

In return, Samsung SDS will improve its position in the Vietnamese market by integrating the latest technologies and solutions into CMC's business network.

The two companies will also cooperate in developing business in key technology fields, including smart factories, cloud storage, security, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and big data. In the business of smart factories, Samsung SDS and CMC will focus on Korean factories in Vietnam, and then expand the technology to Vietnamese companies.

Furthermore, Samsung SDS also plans to cooperate with CMC to turn the company into a global software development and maintenance center in Southeast Asia. CMC will act as the main partner in business operations in Asia, and on the global scale of Samsung SDS.

CMC has set its ambition to become a global corporation, leading in providing digital transformation services and digital services to the region and the world, with revenues of US$1 billion by 2023.

Samsung SDS and CMC began exploring cooperation opportunities in 2016. In June 2018, Samsung SDS signed a strategic cooperation contract with CMC on deploying smart factory management and an administration MES (Manufacturing Execution System) for Samsung suppliers in Vietnam.

In November 2018, Samsung proposed a comprehensive strategic cooperation in two potential business segments: Samsung SDS and Telecommunication Services. CMC Telecom is currently the largest partner to provide international data transmission for Samsung in Vietnam thanks to the quality of its service, fast processing speed and comprehensive back-up system capacity.

This strategic investment agreement confirms the trust Samsung SDS places in CMC and proves the capacity of Vietnamese technology companies in participating in globalization.

PVOil, Taleveras ink cooperation deal

PetroVietnam Oil Corporation and Dubai-based oil conglomerate Taleveras signed a cooperation agreement on July 25 to expand their business in the oil and gas industry.

According to a statement released by PetroVietnam Oil, both companies will establish a joint venture in the United Arab Emirates as an international brand to promote their global presence. They will also join in building oil terminals and facilities in Vietnam.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in HCMC, Antonio De Santis, an executive of Taleveras Exploration and Production, said the joint venture is the result of a cooperation process between the two enterprises, including many steps, such as project assessments, negotiations and conducting due diligence. The joint venture will be operated with transparency and corporate governance policies built by the two firms.

Nguyen Hoang Tuan, chairman of PetroVietnam Oil, said the cooperation will help the firm expand operations and promote its brand internationally. As a member of State-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam, it is developing its business in many regional markets.

Taleveras Exploration and Production offers a wide range of integrated and strategic solutions, in fields such as energy, power, construction and logistics on a global scale.

HCMC to auction 15 land lots in Thu Thiem

HCMC will put up for auction the rights to use 15 land lots in functional areas No. 3 and 4, part of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area project in District 2, according to the HCMC government office.

The office has announced the results of HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong’s conclusions on projects in Thu Thiem Peninsula, the local media reported.

Accordingly, the Investment and Construction Authority of Thu Thiem New Urban Area was assigned to measure and draw up a map of 15 land lots in areas 3 and 4. Relevant agencies will have to coordinate with the management board to complete the 1/500 detailed planning and maps of these land lots to determine the starting prices for them.

The municipal government will not immediately choose investors for the financial center project in Thu Thiem. After the Standing Board of the HCMC Party Committee approves a project to develop HCMC into an international financial hub, the city will work out a plan to hold auctions to choose the most appropriate investor for the project.

In addition, HCMC Vice Chairman Vo Van Hoan and the District 2 People’s Committee will work with the Thu Thiem Church and Congregation of the Holy Cross Lovers of Thu Thiem to ask the church to hand over land for building a road along the Saigon River.

As for the four main road projects in Thu Thiem, the municipal chairman required the Department of Transport to submit a plan to construct a viaduct on the R1 road, which will pass through a central square.

Additionally, the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment will coordinate with agencies to submit the central square and riverside park projects in Thu Thiem New Urban Area to the Standing Board of the municipal Party Committee.

Meanwhile, the Department of Planning and Architecture will have to prepare the planning for the walking bridge project connecting the Thu Thiem New Urban Area with District 1.

Germany’s DEG pours US$28 million into SBT

Thanh Thanh Cong - Bien Hoa Sugar Joint Stock Company (SBT), on July 26, announced a US$28 million investment, or VND649 billion, by the German development finance institution DEG.

As Thanh Nien newspaper reported, the investment was made in the form of dividend-preference shares worth VND30,000 per share, or 84% premium to the market value on July 25.

The agreement states that the shares cannot be transferred for at least one year after the issuance date. They can, however, be converted into common shares as negotiated by both parties, though the price will not be more than VND38,000 per share.

The term of the preferred shares is 6.5 years, with a fixed dividend of 5.5% per year in the first 1.5 years, while the rates in the following years will have to be agreed upon by both sides.

The investment is expected to be disbursed in September, as SBT’s charter capital will increase by 3.7% to over VND6.084 trillion. The capital raised will contribute to the material farming area development plan in Indochina, with 70,000 hectares.

SBT will use the investment in the sugar business in Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Laos, which it bought in 2017 and renamed TTC Attapeu, mechanizing and expanding organic sugar production there. TTC Attapeu can process 7,500 tons of sugar cane per day, producing 700 tons of sugar daily at its 7,000-hectare farm in Attapeu.

TTC Attapeu developed its first organic farm in Laos, with an area of nearly 2,640 hectares. The firm, late last year, signed an agreement to export 4,500 tons of organic sugar to Europe.

Work starts on Bamboo Airways aviation training centre

Bamboo Airways, a subsidiary of real estate developer FLC Group, began construction of an aviation training centre in the central province of Binh Dinh on July 28.

Costing nearly 700 billion VND (more than 30 million USD), the centre spans 10 ha at Nhon Hoi economic zone in Quy Nhon city. It is projected to become operational in 2022, annually training nearly 3,500 students as pilots, flight attendants, technicians, ground service providers and operation controllers.

The project is the first to be implemented among a series of training facilities that Vietnam’s newest airline is planning to build in Quang Ninh, Hai Phong and Vinh Phuc.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, Bamboo Airways signed deals with the New Zealand Aviation Academy to train pilots meeting international standards and with the University of Engineering and Technology under the Vietnam National University – Hanoi to improve training quality and conduct joint scientific research.

Dang Tat Thang, Permanent Vice Chairman of Bamboo Airways, said he hopes the facility will become a top training centre in Vietnam and help improve the sector’s domestic workforce and sustainability.

Thang said the centre will work with universities in Vietnam and abroad to boost education quality, while connecting to the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing in human resources training.

Chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee Ho Quoc Dung pledged to create the best conditions possible for Bamboo Airways and other investors to run their projects in the locality.

Since its first flight took off on January 16 this year, Bamboo Airways has so far opened 24 routes to 15 domestic airports.

EVFTA: Businesses advised to improve product quality

 

The EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) is expected to bring great opportunities for exporters of Vietnam and the Mekong Delta region in particular. However, insiders have advised Vietnamese firms to improve their products’ quality to overcome barriers in the choosy EU market.

Nguyen Phuong Lam, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Can Tho city, said that once ratified, the EVFTA will help raise Vietnam’s exports to the EU by 44 percent by 2030.

The deal is hoped to help increase GDP growth by 7.07-7.72 percent in 2029-2033, he said, adding that goods production, food processing and agriculture will be sectors to benefit most.

“In the next five years, agro-fishery exports of Vietnam will increase over 40 percent, and so will major products of the Mekong Delta region. Therefore, local firms should prepare equipment, infrastructure and production capacity to meet market demand,” stated Lam.

He noted that over the years, the EU has been one of the major markets of Vietnamese tra fish with annual revenue reaching about 300 million USD.

According to the Vietnam Pangasius Association, in 2018, the three largest markets of Vietnamese tra fish fillets were China, the US and the EU. In the first months of 2019, the EU surpassed the US to take second position.

Chairman of the association Duong Nghia Quoc said the EVFTA will create big chances for Vietnamese tra fish sector to enter the market.

Along with a zero tax rate, Vietnam will also avoid non-tariff barriers from EU countries, he said.

Quoc said as long as Vietnamese exporters strictly implement its regulations, they will easily enter the market.

Florian Beranek, an expert from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), a member of the Eurocham, said the decisive factor for Vietnamese firms to maintain competitiveness after the EVFTA is ratified is the improvement of their products’ position in the domestic market before exporting.

Lobster prices drop following tightened Chinese border trade

Lobster prices in the southern central province of Khanh Hoa have sharply declined following China’s move to tighten border trade.

Nguyen Ngoc Son, vice chairman of Cam Ranh City People’s Committee, said that prices of painted spiny lobsters are now at just VND580,000 per kilo (USD25,217), down 60%-70% on-year. First-grade ornate rock lobster is presently sold at just VND1.1 million, down half against the same time of last year.

According to Nguyen Thi Chau Pha, chairwoman of farmers association in Cam Linh Ward, lobster breeders are struggling with the drastic price fall, while feed prices are on the rise. Many of the households are suffering losses, ranging from VND20 million to billions of VND.

Nguyen Chi Lem’s family has to spend up to VND5-6 million on feed for 50 cages of lobster per day. Now, he accepts the lobster sale at low prices to cut down the loss which is around VND1 billion.

Son said that lobsters are mostly exported to China via border trade, but recently, goods have to be exported into China officially, not through border trade. This requires the products to have their certificates of origin.

Vo Khac En, deputy head of Khanh Hoa Province’s Fisheries Department, said the agency warned local farmers of China’s tighter border trade policy, urging them to register their product origin certificates. However, many ignored this.

The government’s newly-issued Decree 26 also stipulates the registration of fishery breeding lists which need to be approved by local authorities.

Khanh Hoa is the country’s lobster breeding hub with a total 49,000 cages.

Earlier, the central province of Quang Nam also faced a stockpile of purple back squid which failed to be exported to China due to a lack of origin certificates.

Foreign investors continue to pour money into Dong Nai

The southern province of Dong Nai lured more than US$1.14 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first seven months of this year, easily surpassing its target for the entire year, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.

During the period, the province granted licences to 55 new projects worth more than $537 million in total. It also allowed 64 existing projects to raise their capital levels by $604 million.

The department said most of the projects were high-tech, environmentally friendly and in line with the province’s investment attraction policy.

Some of the large-scale projects were the $100 million footwear factory developed by South Korean firm Chang Shin Viet Nam Co in Tan Phu Industrial Zone and the $72 million plant manufacturing plastic products being financed by Japanese company Otsuka Techno Viet Nam in Nhon Trach Industrial Zone.

The province's full-year goal was $1.02 billion.

So far, Dong Nai has attracted a total of 1,940 foreign-invested projects with combined capital of nearly $34.92 billion. Investors in the province have come from 45 countries and territories, led by South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

Central Group Vietnam proposes new trade centre in Bac Ninh

Central Group Vietnam expressed its desire to develop a trade centre in the northern province of Bac Ninh at a working session with local authorities on Thursday, according to the provincial portal.

During the event, the company’s CEO Philippe Broianigo praised the province’s potential to develop a strong trade and service sector.

Broianigo said the plan to open a trade centre in the locality is part of its long-term investment orientation and that his company also wanted to establish connections with local manufacturers and suppliers to bring their products to its stores and help develop the province’s economy.

Chairman of Bac Ninh People's Committee Nguyen Tu Quynh spoke about the province’s achievements in socio-economic development over recent years.

With its favourable geographic position, adequate infrastructure and open investment policy, the province has attracted more than 1,300 foreign-invested projects from 34 countries and territories with total registered capital of US$18 billion, Quynh said.

Bac Ninh hopes more businesses will come and make investments in the locality, he added.

Central Group Vietnam is a member of Central Group - Thailand's largest retail conglomerate.

Grab & Moca pushing cashless payments

Vietnam has been named as the fastest growing market in mobile payments in 2019 among 27 countries and territories worldwide, with user numbers rising 61 per cent from 37 per cent in 2018, according to the Global Customer Insights Survey 2019. Mr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, Head of Grab Financial Group Vietnam, said that with more mobile phones than bank accounts, apps that consumers trust and use daily are in an ideal position to drive the adoption of cashless payments. “Cashless payments play a positive role in boosting economic growth, particularly when the government is making cashless payments a priority around the country, with interoperability and other pro-cashless initiatives through the ‘Scheme for the Development of Non-Cash Payments in the 2016-2020 Period’,” he added.

As one of the leading technology companies, Grab’s vision has always been to use #TechforGood to drive the country forward. With its strategic partnership with Moca, one of the pioneers of Vietnam’s mobile payment solutions and with strong local roots and insights, Grab can support many of the needs of the 97 million people in Vietnam. The Moca e-wallet on the Grab app is part of Grab’s super app ecosystem serving most of the essential needs of consumers, including on-demand e-hailing services, parcel delivery, food delivery, and cashless payments. The strengths of the partnership, composed of Moca’s extensive credibility and expertise in technology, payments, and the banking sector, and Grab’s know-how, like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and data analytics, have fully complimented each other, resulting in tremendous growth in cashless payments since being announced.

Because of the interconnectedness of each of the services and how they help each other to grow, Grab and Moca are creating an entire ecosystem of connected users who are not only passengers and driver-partners but also agents, merchants, and delivery-partners. Only six months after launch, Grab users can already enjoy Moca’s cashless payments for their GrabFood and GrabExpress orders beyond Grab rides, and also split bills with friends and loved ones through a peer-to-peer fund transfer feature, together with some other cashless features such as mobile top-ups, paying at offline merchants, including traditional street food and local restaurants, and making bill payments. Among these, some have achieved triple-digit month-on-month growth.

Mr. Anh is proud that Grab is not just one of the most frequently used consumer apps in Vietnam but also that 35 per cent of its transactions are already cashless. “Our partnership with a strong local payments service provider like Moca will create more trust and lower the barriers to cashless further for Vietnamese consumers and support Vietnam’s move towards a 90 per cent cashless economy by 2020,” Mr. Anh said. “We believe that Vietnamese people are ready for cashless payments, especially for small and daily transactions, if the technology fits their everyday needs.” Sharing the same viewpoint, Mr. Tran Thanh Nam, Co-founder and CEO of Moca, said he believes that consumers are leading increasingly digital lifestyles and the Grab and Moca partnership helps promote this digital lifestyle. “We expect exponential growth in mobile payments around Vietnam driven by Moca and Grab,” he added.

However, the move towards cashless payments in Vietnam is also grappling with some very real challenges. According to Mr. Anh, the habit of paying by cash remains widespread, especially in rural areas. “What we need to do is enrich our Grab service ecosystem and create more use cases so that consumers see that cashless payments are far simpler and more convenient,” he said. “Being convenient, however, is not enough - it needs to be seen that cashless payment is more beneficial for consumers to convince them to go cashless. Only when customers realize this advantage will they use Moca e-wallet more. By focusing on how to use #TechforGood, how we can improve lives and constantly challenge ourselves to innovate, we believe that together with Moca we can offer the most advanced and convenient e-wallets for everyday payment needs and gradually make cashless payments a habit of everyone. This will bring about greater efficiencies and tremendous economic benefits in support of the Vietnamese Government’s vision of turning Vietnam into a cashless economy by 2020.”

Grab’s aims in Vietnam are, among others, to drive financial inclusion through strategic partnerships with local partners and empower millions of micro-entrepreneurs to grow their business. “Together with our partners, Grab is fully committed and focused on how we can use #TechforGood to connect millions to the cashless economy and benefit every Vietnamese, so that we can not only bring a swift, seamless, and secure cashless payment experience to Vietnamese but also move everyone into the digital economy for the future,” Mr. Anh said.

Samsung SDS & CMC Corporation sign investment contract

South Korea’s leader in IT, Samsung SDS, and Vietnam’s top IT and telecommunications company, CMC Corporation, signed a strategic investment cooperation contract on July 26.

Samsung SDS representatives will join the Board of Directors at CMC under the contract, share business strategies, and build promotional programs for mutual growth.

CMC will receive the benefits of Samsung SDS’s technological strength and market potential and enhance the Southeast Asian market. In return, Samsung SDS will improve its position in the Vietnamese market by integrating the latest technologies and solutions into CMC’s business network.

The cooperation between the two will develop business in key technology fields, including Smart Factory, Cloud, Security, Building Management Systems IoT, and Digital Signage.

The two will continue to develop business in AI, Blockchain and Big Data. In the business of Smart Factory, Samsung SDS and CMC will focus on South Korean factories in Vietnam, then expand deployment to Vietnamese companies.

Samsung SDS also plans to cooperate with CMC to make the company become a GDC Global Software Development and Maintenance Center in Southeast Asia. CMC will act as the main partner in of Samsung SDS’s business operations in Asia and on a global scale.

“Today, CMC Corporation signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation contract with South Korea’s No. 1 information technology company, Samsung SDS,” Mr. Nguyen Trung Chinh, Chairman and CEO of CMC, said at the signing ceremony. “We believe this cooperation will create miracles in digital transformation, enhancing Vietnam’s position on the world technology map.”

“Together with CMC, Samsung SDS will promote business to support the digital transformation process of customers on a global scale,” said Dr. WP Hong, Chairman and CEO of Samsung SDS.

“The Ministry of Information and Communications would like CMC Corporation and Samsung SDS to strengthen their role as leaders and supporters of other local ICT companies, to develop and create a dynamic ICT community in Vietnam,” said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam.

Samsung SDS and CMC first cooperated in 2016.

In June last year, the two signed a strategic cooperation contract on deploying solutions in smart factory management and administration, MES (Manufacturing Execution System), for Samsung suppliers in Vietnam.

Last November, Samsung proposed comprehensive strategic cooperation in two potential business segments: Samsung SDS (which has recorded $9 billion in revenue in 2019) and Telecommunication Services (Data Center, Cloud) - a fast growing business line.

CMC Telecom is currently the largest partner providing international data transmission to Samsung in Vietnam thanks to its service quality, fast processing speed, and comprehensive back-up system.

This strategic investment agreement confirms the trust of Samsung SDS in CMC and proves the capacity of Vietnamese tech companies in the era of globalization.

Yeah1 suffers sizeable losses from break up with YouTube

The break with YouTube keeps dragging Yeah1 (code: YEG) down as the local multimedia platform has just reported millions of US dollars in losses and its stock is in a nosedive.

Yeah1 saw a sharp fall in profit in the second-quarter due to setting a provision of $3.6 million for selling ScaleLab LLC. Specifically, the company reached VND356 billion ($15.48 million) in net revenue, up 2 per cent on-year. Meanwhile, expenses grew by 57 per cent mainly for advertising and content sharing on digital platforms, which doubled from VND200 billion ($8.7 million) to VND485 billion ($21.1 million).

As a result, its gross margin remained VND13 billion ($565,200), a big drop against teh VND138 billion ($6 million) in the same period last year. However, its revenue from financial activities increased significantly thanks to the interest rate on deposits and lending, which hit VND36 billion ($1.57 million), much higher than the VND1 billion ($43,500) in 2018’s same period.

Thus, Yeah1 reached nearly VND743 billion ($32.3 million) in the first half of 2019’s accumulated revenue and VND94 billion ($4.1 million) in net loss. This is only 37 per cent of the VND2 trillion ($86.96 million) revenue target.

On the other hand, according to Yeah1’s balance sheet, its total assets as of the end of 2019’s second quarter stood at nearly VND1.931 trillion ($83.96 million), including VND690 billion ($30 million) in cash and VND140 billion ($6.09 million) in bonds. Currently, its deposits are used to guarantee loans.

Especially, Yeah1 took up a loan of more than VND231.5 billion ($10.07 million) at ShinhanBank’s branch in Singapore. This USD-denominated loan at the limit of $10 million was carried out to serve the purchase of all stocks of ScaleLab LLC in early 2019 with the interest of 1.15 per cent. The guaranteed assets are its letter of credit for emergency; and the VND275 billion ($11.96 million) deposit at Shinhan Bank Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Yeah1 has increased its short-term loan capital twice, from VND124.5 billion ($5.4 million) to VND278.5 billion ($12.11 million). Its capital remains VND1.38 trillion ($60 million), but the net loss burned all of its after-tax profit, leading to the accumulated loss of VND12 billion ($521,750). In addition, the company reported paid-in capital of VND1.132 trillion ($49.22 million).

Moreover, its stock is doing no better, with its market capitalisation losing hundreds of millions of VND. Currently, its stock is valued at VND75,500 ($3.28), lower than the previous minimum of VND79,748 ($3.46).

SAP calls businesses to embrace intelligent technologies

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP), one of the market leaders in enterprise application software, encourages businesses in Vietnam to lead and create new business models through the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the Asian Innovators Summit (AIS) organised in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event, attended by business and technology leaders, provides a platform for Vietnamese businesses to gain valuable insights on how the latest technology and solutions can help accelerate their innovation agenda and help create new business models through the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Today’s consumers are well-connected and well-informed. They expect more than just a standard, one-size-fits-all product from brands – they need an individualised product tailored to their needs. They look for an entirely different experience throughout the engagement of buying products and services.

This puts businesses in a dilemma because the industry today may not yet be ready to meet new emerging demands. According to Josephin Galla, managing director of SAP Vietnam, the industry today is still in the assembly line production mode. There are serious challenges such as real-time supply chain management, agility, product innovation and manufacturing models to be put in place to meet the new demands more effectively.

In addition, Industry 4.0 is quickly shifting manufacturing from isolated, optimised cells of business processes, systems, and resources to fully-integrated processes across the borders within the value chain of an industry. This opens up a lot of possibilities for innovation and improving customer satisfaction. For this reason, businesses around the world are adopting intelligent technologies to stay relevant.

“In order for companies to stay relevant, we have to combine operational and experience management data in an intelligent platform leveraging the latest intelligent technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, or IoT so we are able to understand the past, the present, and predict the future,” said Josephin.

In line with the Made in Vietnam 4.0 agenda, SAP has set its primary focus for the country in 2019 on delivering the Intelligent Enterprise to Vietnamese customers and helping them capitalise on the emerging experience economy.

Vietnam is one of SAP's fastest-growing markets in ASEAN. Today, there are 500 SAP customers from across industries in Vietnam who have adopted SAP solutions.

Complimentary podcast about global energy transition launched

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts, recently rolled-out a fresh news and current affairs podcast named Face the Facts, seeking to analyse the most significant global stories about the energy transition.

Face the Facts will give energy professionals, sustainability experts and journalists access to opinions and insights on the latest global news stories from the world’s leading energy experts within DNV GL and its global network.

According to Lucy Craig, vice president of Technology and Innovation at DNV GL – Energy, energy companies around the world are living through a period of great change.

“The rise of renewables, the impact of new technologies, and increased electrification are transforming the energy sector. At the same time, the climate emergency requires acceleration in decarbonisation measures," said Craig. “These major challenges now facing the energy sector, societies, and governments all over the world call for significant debate, so people everywhere are aware of the issues and informed on the facts."

“This is why we are launching our new podcast, Face the Facts, so people can tune in and listen to what DNV GL’s energy experts think about the news stories that surround us each week. We believe our insight and opinion will help audiences know and understand the real facts,” he added.

Face the Facts builds on the great success of the DNV GL Talks Energy podcast, which has featured a long line of distinguished speakers from high-profile companies and organisations.
Published weekly in a short format designed to inform and inspire, each episode will bring the latest information on renewable energy technologies to a senior global audience – including content on the climate emergency, wind and solar, electric grids, electric vehicles, the power system, energy storage, management, financing, innovation, and digitalisation.

A team of senior speakers from across DNV GL’s global business will respond to live news stories and events each week, sharing their insights and opinions on the facts at the heart of the issue. In addition to this in-house team, the podcast will feature external speakers from business, academia, and the media.

Face the Facts builds on the great success of the DNV GL Talks Energy podcast, which has featured a long line of distinguished speakers from companies and organisations such as Shell New Energies, Engie, Microsoft, the World Bank, and Schneider Electric.

Intelligent and thought-provoking, the Talks Energy podcast reaches a global audience of over 10,000 listeners per episode.

Easy Credit launched consumer lending on Zalo

Consumer-oriented consumer lender Easy Credit under state-owned EVN Finance has begun to implement its online loaning programme via Zalo.

Under the initiative, anyone who wants to seek loans from Easy Credit can provide the firm’s Zalo-based system with basic personal information such as ID number, phone number, date of birth, the sum of money they want to borrow, and loan term.

The system will then automatically provide consultancy for the customers regarding lending rates and monthly payment before they can make a final decision. After that, Easy Credit staff will directly contact the customers so that they can make loaning dossiers as soon as possible.

This new loaning method allows customers to seek basic information about loans very quickly, instead of using the traditional method where they have to make a phone call to Easy Credit’s centre or navigate the firm’s website to seek out the information they need.

With the Zalo-based system, customers can seek loans from Easy Credit anywhere at any time.

Nguyen Mai Long, general manager of Easy Credit, said, “We want customers to access our services in the easiest manner, especially those living in rural areas. Thus, Easy Credit is boosting co-operation with partners that have technological platforms which can enable Easy Credit’s services to be used nationwide.”

Before launching this loaning initiative on Zalo, Easy Credit also deployed customer care services on this platform.

Zhejiang export fair opens in HCM City

An international expo named “Zhejiang Made, All Need” was opened at Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City on August 1, bringing together more than 100 major exporters from Zhejiang, China.

This year’s fair, the eighth edition of its kind, features 150 booths, displaying Zhejiang made products in four main sectors – Construction materials and interiors; Machines, electronics and electrical products; Bicycles and parts; and Textile, materials and consumer goods.

A number of business matching conferences will be organised on the sidelines of the expo for different industries, for example, electrical appliances and electric cars, and electrical engineering. These events provide an opportunity for enterprises both at home and overseas to learn about export products made on EU standards.

Launched in 2011, the event is one of the largest exhibition for export commodities hosted by Zhejiang in ASEAN member countries, which has played a significant part in boosting trade relations between Vietnam and the Chinese province.

Vietnam is Zhejiang’s biggest trade partner in Southeast Asia. Last year, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Zhejiang reached 9.39 billion USD, up 18.4 percent from a year earlier.

 
 
 
 
 
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