BUSINESS NEWS 7/6

HCM City to try again to auction advertising space on buses



An for leasing advertising space on HCM City buses will now be held between June 21 and July 18 following four previous unsuccessful attempts.

Seventy one packages will be tendered out this time.

The advertisements can be placed on both sides of buses though with their size not exceeding 50 per cent of the vehicle's side. Ads are not permitted in the front or back or on the top.

Bidders can choose how long they want to lease ranging from six months to three years.

They will have to pay a deposit ranging from 5 per cent of the reserve price for a three-year contract and 15 per cent for six-month contracts.

According to the HCM City Property Auction Service Centre, where the auction will be held, of the 71 packages on offer, the lowest-priced offers advertising spaces on only four buses and starts at VND205 million for six months and over VND1.2 billion for three years.

The centre said the values of the contracts have been fixed by the relevant authorities.

Tran Chi Trung, director of the centre, said in preparation for the auction, the centre discussed customers’ requirements with regard to hoardings on buses with advertising firms.

The large number of packages this time would offer bidders more options to choose from, he added.

Cao Thanh Binh, deputy head of the city People’s Council's economics and budgets division, said the revenues from the advertising are expected to help the city to improve its bus services, improve infrastructure including terminals for buses and reduce subsidies.

Binh said the leasing could yield up to VND200 billion (US$8.6 million) a year, which would help reduce the subsidies the city pays for bus services.

Around 1,000 non-subsidized buses that are in operation are expected to use the advertising revenues to improve the quality of their services.

HCM City spends more than VND1 trillion (US$44 million) a year to subsidise bus services, according to its Department of Transport.

Fine art and handicraft exports surge in five months

BUSINESS NEWS 7/6



The country’s fine art and handicraft exports experienced a significant increase of 50 per cent to reach US$45 million in May, according to statistics from the General Department of Customs.

The latest addition has brought the export turnover of these products to $190 million in the first five months of 2019, up 43 per cent year-on-year, the data shows.

These positive figures were attributable to a booming demand of handicraft products, especially those made from bamboo, rattan and leaves, in the global market, online Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourers) newspaper cited the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa) as saying.

For example, more and more retirees in European countries are decorating their houses, resulting in high demand for handicraft products, Hawa said, adding that the proportion of people who bought handicrafts as gifts has also increased.

According to Hawa, there remains huge potential for Vietnamese fine art and handicraft producers to accelerate their exports to overseas markets including major outlets such as the US, the EU and Japan and emerging ones like India, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Norway and Chile.

The association also forecast that the nation’s exports of fine art and handicraft would likely reach $500 million by the end of this year.

Despite great potential to grow, the domestic fine arts and handicraft industry faces several challenges including the lack of creativity in Vietnamese designs and the shortage of professionally trained designers, trade experts have said.

According to the Viet Nam Handicrafts Association (Vietcraft), around 90 per cent of Vietnamese handicraft products were made to suit the technical designs of importers and were not made under Vietnamese labels.

Dang Quoc Hung, director of a handicraft company in the southern province of Dong Nai, said most Vietnamese handicraft manufacturers only focused on outsourcing to foreign clients. Though receiving abundant orders, local handicraft makers made modest profits due to increasing input costs.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Trade Promotion Agency, handicraft producers should pay attention to design and branding. The practicality of craft products along with their decoration should also be a focus.

As studying the tastes of customers, especially foreign ones, required great effort and funding, the firms should participate in prestigious fairs and exhibitions both domestically and overseas.

They could also learn about foreign customers' tastes in Viet Nam by using surveys on which products international customers preferred to purchase at the country's famous tourist destinations such as Ha Noi, Sa Pa, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue and HCM City, the agency said.

Furthermore, businesses should utilise e-commerce to better introduce their products to importers and individual customers and boost their revenues, it added.

Kien Giang home to 49 FDI projects

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has so far attracted 49 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a combined registered capital of over 2.75 billion USD.

Investors operating in Kien Giang come from 19 countries and territories worldwide, including the US, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Thailand.

Disbursement of FDI capital has reached 556 million USD, 20 percent of the total registered capital, mainly in tourism, agriculture, processing industry, manufacturing, oil and gas transportation, trade, service and transport.

Local authorities have issued details of projects calling for investment in 2018-2020 period to aid foreign investors.

Projects calling for investment in the locality focus on tourism, trade, the environment, hi-tech agriculture, rural and urban water, industry, building technical infrastructure and industrial clusters, housing and urban development, transport, education-training, and culture-sports.

Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Thi Minh Phung said local authorities have fostered trade promotion and connection activities, and promoted administrative reform to attract more investors.

She added that attention has been paid to expanding relations with foreign trade and investment organisations, general consulates and international diplomatic agencies in Vietnam, as well as Vietnamese communities abroad to foster investment promotion.

Information on the strengths of the locality have been publicised on mass media, making it easier for investors to learn about projects they are interested in, Phung added.

BUSINESS NEWS 7/6

Vietnam – rising star in tourism sector: Malaysian newspaper

The ASEAN Post of Malaysia has recently run an article featuring the rise of Vietnam’s tourism, in which it affirmed that Vietnam is an emerging regional star in the tourism sector.

The article wrote that Southeast Asia saw a 9.4 percent rise in tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2018 – the largest number recorded amongst all regions at the time. This figure exceeded the already robust 6 percent average growth for global tourism during the same period.

Within the Southeast Asian region, Thailand recorded the highest number of foreign tourist arrivals in 2017 at 35 million, and ranked fourth highest among global earners from tourism in the year with 81 billion USD, it wrote.

However, it said that “an emerging regional star in the tourism sector is Vietnam,” as in 2017, Vietnam recorded the largest increase in tourist arrivals for the region, with each tourist spending an average of 685 USD. The country is expected to record an even bigger rise in 2018 as it posted a year-on-year 25.2 percent growth in the first quarter of the year.

Vietnam’s tourism growth is the result of a concerted effort by its government in nurturing an attractive tourism sector, as well as understanding and solving the challenges faced, the article stressed.

Vietnam has been focused and determined in promoting its trade and culture to other markets. In 2017, a lot of tourism promotion programmes were carried out in both scope and scale.

Moreover, the country has identified barriers to incoming tourists that need to be solved to improve its attractiveness to foreign visitors.

Affordable air travel is making far-flung places more accessible, while shifts in life priorities amongst millennials who choose to travel more compared to making other major purchases continues to push growth in the sector.

Vietnam and Southeast Asia in general need to take advantage of this growth and position themselves as some of the best destinations for international tourism, the article suggested.

Luc Ngan “thieu” lychee to be promoted in Hanoi

“Thieu” lychee, a specialty of Luc Ngan district in the northern province of Bac Giang, will be promoted in Hanoi from June 7 to 16.

The information was unveiled at a press conference held in the capital by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the People’s Committee of Bac Giang on June 4.

A forum connecting production and consumption of “thieu” lychee and other special products of Luc Ngan district will take place at the same time.

Vice Chairman of the district’s People’s Committee Cao Van Hoan said the “thieu” lychee week event will offer clean and high-quality products from Luc Ngan, including “thieu” lychee - which is grown according to Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) and GlobalGAP standards.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the MARD’s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (AgroTrade), said Luc Ngan lychee brings high economic efficiency. It has been protected in eight countries. All lychee growing areas in Luc Ngan had been granted with codes.

Luc Ngan district in Bac Giang province is the largest fruit growing region in the north with nearly 28,000 hectares of fruits of all kinds. It has over 15,000 hectares for growing lychee, including 12,000 hectares grown according to VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.

Luc Ngan lychee is favoured by Chinese businesses and customers thanks to its good taste. In recent year, the fruit has been exported to many other countries such as the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the UK, France and Australia.

This year, Luc Ngan is expected to harvest about 80,000 tonnes of “thieu” lychee priced between 30,000 VND (1.2 USD) and 40,000 VND per kg based on quality.

Saigon Co.op takes northern lychees around the country

The Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives (Saigon Co.op) will buy 500-700 tonnes of thieu lychees, a unique fruit grown in the northern province of Bac Giang’s Luc Ngan District, this year, 25 percent more than in 2018.

Pham Trung Kien, Saigon Co.op’s deputy general director, said fresh lychees are bought directly from the province and transported by specialised vehicles for distribution to more than 700 outlets of Saigon Co.op, including Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, Co.opSmile, and Cheers, so that customers, especially in the central and southern regions, could enjoy them at reasonable prices.

Saigon Co.op will organise a “Vietnam Fruit Festival” in June and July featuring lychees and other fruit specialties at its outlets, and offer discounts and samples of the lychee to introduce and popularise it.

It will also collaborate with its partners to take the lychee to international markets, especially Singapore.

Tran Quang Tan, director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said his province is the biggest lychee grower in the country with 28,000ha under the fruit and an annual output of more than 150,000 tonnes.

All the lychees meet VietGap quality standards as well as standards in choosy export markets, he said, adding that the fruits’ quality this year is the highest so far since farmers recently started to apply advanced technologies.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam praised Saigon Co.op’s effort to promote consumption of lychees cultivated in Bac Giang.

He expected the retailer to also promote the consumption of other farm produce from the north to bring seasonal products to consumers around the country.

Vietjet offers super-saving tickets for “Show your summer version”

Vietjet offers 400,000 super-saving tickets priced only from 0 VND (excluding taxes and fees) on website www.vietjetair.com on June 5, 6, and 7, as continuing the promotion series of the biggest program “Fly for love – Show your summer version”.

The promotional tickets are applied at golden hours from 12:00 to 14:00 for all international routes to Bali (Indonesia)/Seoul, Busan, Daegu (the Republic of Korea)/Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan (Taiwan)/Hong Kong (China)/Singapore/Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai (Thailand)/Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)/Yangon (Myanmar)/Siem Reap (Cambodia)/Tokyo, Osaka (Japan) and Thailand’s local routes during the three golden days.

Flying time is from August 6, 2019 to December 31, 2019, excluding national holidays.

The tickets are available on all channels as well as at golden hour promotion from 12:00 to 14:00 everyday at website www.vietjetair.com, also compatible with smartphones at https://m.vietjetair.com or www.facebook.com/vietjetvietnam (just click the “Booking” tab).

Payment can be easily made with international debit and credit cards, including Visa/ MasterCard/ AMEX/ JCB/ KCP/Union; or with any ATM card issued by 34 Vietnamese banks and registered with internet banking.

Welcoming the brilliant summer, Vietjet launches the one-of-a-kind series of activities in "Fly for love – Show your summer version" with millions of tickets from 0 VND to fly around Asia. All passengers can participate in by cosplaying as their favorite characters, traveling on Vietjet flights and immediately receiving surprising gifts from now on to July 31, 2019.

Slow equitisation prevents VEAM listing

The country’s largest engine and machinery producer VEAM has not been able to list on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) due to sluggish equitisation.

Leaders of VEAM, better known as the Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation, told vietnamfinance.vn in a recent meeting that the main reason for its slow listing was the delayed equitisation process.

If the process is completed in the last six months of this year, VEAM will have full listing documents and is expected to list on the HoSE by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the company said.

VEAM presented its plan to list on the HoSE to shareholders in June last year.

In 2019, the company plans to earn 6.4 trillion VND (274 million USD), up 23 percent. Financial income is expected to increase 32 percent.

VEAM said its 2019 dividend payment target of 38.84 percent will likely not be met because affiliate companies may not pay on schedule.

If there was no delay in the payment, the company's after-tax profit in 2019 could amount to 6.8 trillion USD, VEAM said.

Experts of Vietnam, Russia discuss cooperation in economic globalisation

A delegation led by President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) Prof Dr Nguyen Quang Thuan attended an international symposium on Vietnam-Russia cooperation in Russia on June 4.

The event, part of activities in the Vietnam Year in Russia and the Russia Year in Vietnam, was organised by the Institute of Economy under the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Reports at the symposium analysed impacts of international situations and globalisation on the economies of Vietnam and Russia and compared the development models of the two nations.

They also commented on Vietnam-Russia cooperation potential in the 21st century and within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union - Vietnam free trade agreement.

Participants said that as a scientific-technological power, Russia should bolster its science-technology strengths in the Vietnamese market amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Prof Dr Thuan said that at the event, Vietnamese experts and their Russian counterparts assessed milestones in the two countries’ relations over the years and discussed factors which hinder bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation.

Vietnam looks to build criteria for ecological seaports

Standards for Vietnamese ecological seaports will help build a professional environment management system, thus raising seaport management units’ awareness of environmental protection, said Dr. Du Van Toan from the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands’ Vietnam Institute of Seas and Islands. 

Initiated and managed by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), the ecoport model must meet standards by ESPO, with environmental protection key.

Once recognised as ecoports, the ports can join regional and global ecological seaports associations, improving their stature, Toan said.

To deliver commitments on environment and energy management, he suggested domestic seaports file their legal records on the field and identify which environmental issues need to improve.

Notably, the Maritime Administration of Hai Phong is working to build Lach Huyen into a green seaport by using modern technology to control dust and smoke and limiting the use of old vehicles.

Apart from building a plan on water resources management in ports and using water management system, it also devised regulations on wastewater control, built garbage collection facilities and collected daily waste when vessels dock.

HCM City absorbs 2.77 billion USD in FDI capital in five months

Ho Chi Minh City attracted 2.77 billion USD in foreign investment in the first five months of this year, with 46.7 percent of the capital poured into real estate.

The figure was reported by Director of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai at a conference of the municipal People’s Committee on June 4 to review socio-economic performance in the January-May period.

Mai also reported that 16,664 domestic firms were licensed in the period with total registered capital of over 265.6 trillion VND (11.33 billion USD), with 36.7 percent of the new firms operating in the real estate sector.

Total revenues from retails and services in the five-month period amounted to 463.5 trillion VND, up 12.3 percent year on year.

Budget collection totaled 165.2 trillion VND, accounting for 41.39 percent of estimates.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong urged local officials to accelerate the processing of investment projects’ procedures for the projects to be deployed in schedule.

The conference discussed the pace of several major projects in the city, including the upgrade of Xuyen Tam canal, the flood control project invested by Trung Nam group, and the selection of investors for waste-to-energy project.

Indian company commissions solar plant in Vietnam

India’s solar PV module manufacturer Waaree Energies announced on June 4 that it has officially put into operation a 50MW ground-mounted solar plant in Vietnam.

Waaree Energies Director in charge of Sales and Marketing Sunil Rathi said that the project marks the company’s footprint in Southeast Asia.

 

According to him, Waaree Energies bagged a contract for setting up the ground-mounted solar project in September 2018, and in late May 2019, the plant was commissioned.

The project was developed for Song Giang Solar Power JSC in the central province of Khanh Hoa on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) mode, he said, adding that the plant is designed to generate more than 78,600 MWh of electricity per year.

"Vietnam government has set a target of 12 GW from solar installations. Demand for energy is expected to increase by 10 percent by 2020 and Waaree is targeting the growing demand," Rathi said.

Waaree Energies, the flagship company of Waaree Group, is India's leading solar PV (photovoltaic) maker and leader in rooftop segment with headquarters in Mumbai. The company has presence in over 280 locations in India and 68 countries internationally.

Credit institutions must swing into action to boost e-payment

BUSINESS NEWS 7/6

Banks and financial institutions should apply industry 4.0 technologies and find new solutions to handling risks from e-payments if they want to further develop their products and services in the local market, Nguyen Kim Anh, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, has said.

2018 sees booming e-payment services in Vietnam as internet and mobile payment transactions respectively leaped by 19.5 per cent and 169.5 per cent 2017.

Anh urged credit institutions to further optimize the use of smart data for making insightful analysis on customer needs so that they are able to provide clients with appropriate products and services.

2018 saw booming e-payment services in Vietnam as internet and mobile payment transactions respectively leaped by 19.5 per cent and 169.5 per cent 2017, the State Bank of Vietnam reported. Indeed, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) ranked Vietnam as one of the fastest-growing mobile payment markets in 2018.

As many as 18,668 automated teller machines (ATMs) and 261,705 point of sale (POS) machines had been installed nationwide by the end of March. Transactions via domestic payment cards amounted to 65 million in amount and VND171 trillion (US$7.35 billion) in value during the first quarter of 2019.

Commercial banks have integrated additional features into bank cards with the aim of facilitating card holders’ payments and easing security threats.

These positive outcomes were attributed to concerted efforts by commercial banks into developing new payment methods based on the application of innovative apps and solutions such as QR codes, the digitization of card information, contactless payments, and the use of smart phones as a payment tool. These applications have allowed banks to improve security and convenience for their products and services.

Nguyen Quang Minh, Deputy General Director of the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) claimed changing local payment behaviour as well as leveraging the development of e-payment remains a thorny issue for commercial banks.

Minh elaborated that financial services and payment methods have merely been developed in major localities while banks are yet to find much traction in rural and remote areas.

Nguyen Thi Hien, deputy director of the Banking Strategy Institute, said that the country’s average financial service access rate remains lower than that of regional peers. Most notably, the rate of adults making e-payments stood at 23 per cent, much lower than the 67.9 per cent ratio in China and 79.8 per cent in Thailand.

Hien criticized the slow pace of e-payment growth for the long-standing cash payment behavior of locals and their fear of security risks from e-payments.

In fact, poor linkages exist in local financial infrastructure while there have been many gaps in the legal framework and the distribution network of credit institutions.

In order to spur the nationwide development of non-cash payment methods, Hien emphasized the significance of utilizing fintech platforms to diversify distribution channels and expand them in localities which have limited access to financial services.

She also urged additional public-private cooperation in efficiently developing an inclusive infrastructure that covers the retail payment system and ICT infrastructure.

Given this, Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh stressed the diversification of financial institutions and channels as an effective solution to overcoming the existing hindrances to e-payments.

Vietnam’s ever-growing young population along with its increasing internet and mobile adoption rates presents huge opportunities for Vietnamese credit institutions to expand digital banking and payment services.

A brighter prospect lays ahead for those providing such services at a high security level and reasonable costs.

Cassava exports plummet during five-month period

Vietnam’s exports of cassava and cassava-based products suffered a remarkable drop during the first five months of the year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

During the reviewed period, the nation exported 1.08 million tons of cassava, raking in US$414 million, down 17.6 per cent in volume and 11 per cent in value against the same period last year.
Due to falling demand from China, the forecast for the export of cassava and cassava-based products is pessimistic.

China remained the largest export market for Vietnamese cassava in the first four months of the year, accounting for 89.2 per cent, a drop of 16.4 per cent in volume and 3.5 per cent in value compared to last year’s corresponding period.

Representatives from the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Agrotrade), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, attributed the decline to a sharp drop in the export of cassava starch via border gates and official channels.

China has also tightened regulatory controls on labelling, packaging, and information on Vietnamese cassava starch exported via border gates. In addition, China has reduced its standard VAT rate from 16 per cent to 13 per cent as of April 1. This has resulted in making the price of goods exported via border gates less competitive.

Moreover, the significantly increasing demand for cassavas chips has made Vietnamese businesses not rush to sign exports contracts to the Chinese market due to low export prices.

The export price of cassava and cassava-based products in May stood at US$408 per ton, an increase of 0.8 per cent in comparison to the previous month and down 10.2 per cent in comparison with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the export price of cassava starch fell slightly to US$425 per ton, down 1.7 per cent from the previous month and a drop of 15.2 per cent in comparison with last year’s corresponding period.

The export price of cassava chips in May was US$222 per ton, a large fall of 8.0 per cent from last month and down 11.3 per cent against the same period last year.

Agrotrade forecasts that transactions concerning the export of cassavas and cassava-based products will continue to fall in the near future due to a decreased demand from China.

The export of cassava starch is also predicted to remain low until the year’s second quarter. However, the demand for cassava chips from China is predicted to recover after China levied 25 per cent import tariffs on US$60 billion worth of goods from the US.

Dong Nai’s export growth slows in first five months

The export turnover of enterprises operating in the southern province of Dong Nai in the first five months of 2019 hit US$7.7 billion, representing a year-on-year rise of 3.4 per cent, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

In May alone, the total export turnover reached $1.69 billion, 9.8 per cent higher than the previous month, and up 1.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.

Import and export activities in Dong Nai are mainly led by foreign-invested enterprises, accounting for 85 per cent of the province's total import and export value.

In the first months of 2019, a number of key exporters of leather, textiles and mechanical products reported slower growth compared to 2018.

The department attributed the locality’s slowing export turnover to the impacts of global trade protection policies.

Director of the department Duong Minh Dung said the US-China trade war had caused countries in the region to build tariff barriers to protect their domestic goods and minimise imports, thus affecting Viet Nam's exports.

The provincial Association of Exporters said orders from now to the end of the year for large enterprises operating in the leather and shoe industry in Dong Nai had decreased from 10-15 per cent, while those in the garment industry dropped by 7 per cent.

Meanwhile, local producers of wood and wooden products in Dong Nai reported they had received orders until the end of 2019 but their partners were asking for discounts, adding that this caused many difficulties for them as the prices of electricity and gasoline had increased, raising production costs.

Although Dong Nai’s export turnover in the first five months increased slowly, the locality still enjoyed a trade surplus of $1.2 billion.

The locality’s export turnover is still expected to reach over $20 billion, with a trade surplus of $2.6 billion.

Bitel becomes most popular telco in Peru

Viettel's Bitel brand in Peru has succeeded in winning the trust and satisfaction of customers for the products and services it provides.

According to leading market research and consulting firm Arellano, in June 2019, Bitel was the most popular operator in the country with customer satisfaction hitting 14.46 out of 20 points. Competitors Movistar and Claro, who have more customers, scored 11.34 and 12.08. Customers said they were satisfied with the high quality of 4G network services, competitive rates and thoughtful customer care provided by Bitel.

One of the reasons behind Bitel's popularity is that the brand is strongly associated with kindness, timeliness and humanity. When a recent 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit the country, the strongest in the past decade in Peru, Bitel immediately launched 100 per cent free voice and messaging policies for all customers in the two most affected areas.

In addition, Bitel has the largest network coverage with more than 26,000km of fiber optic cable in Peru.

Peru is an extremely different market from others Viettel has invested in. With its large population of more than 30 million people and higher economic development level than Viet Nam, it is considered a promising market, according to a press release issued by the Group on Tuesday.

Currently, Peru provides Bitel's largest revenue of US$30 million per month on average among 10 countries where Viettel Group is operating.

Kien Giang home to 49 FDI projects

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has so far attracted 49 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a combined registered capital of over 2.75 billion USD.

Investors operating in Kien Giang come from 19 countries and territories worldwide, including the US, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Thailand.

Disbursement of FDI capital has reached 556 million USD, 20 percent of the total registered capital, mainly in tourism, agriculture, processing industry, manufacturing, oil and gas transportation, trade, service and transport.

Local authorities have issued details of projects calling for investment in 2018-2020 period to aid foreign investors.

Projects calling for investment in the locality focus on tourism, trade, the environment, hi-tech agriculture, rural and urban water, industry, building technical infrastructure and industrial clusters, housing and urban development, transport, education-training, and culture-sports.

Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Thi Minh Phung said local authorities have fostered trade promotion and connection activities, and promoted administrative reform to attract more investors.

She added that attention has been paid to expanding relations with foreign trade and investment organisations, general consulates and international diplomatic agencies in Vietnam, as well as Vietnamese communities abroad to foster investment promotion.

Information on the strengths of the locality have been publicised on mass media, making it easier for investors to learn about projects they are interested in, Phung added.

Slow equitisation prevents VEAM listing

The country’s largest engine and machinery producer VEAM has not been able to list on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) due to sluggish equitisation.

Leaders of VEAM, better known as the Viet Nam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation, told vietnamfinance.vn in a recent meeting that the main reason for its slow listing was the delayed equitisation process.

If the process is completed in the last six months of this year, VEAM will have full listing documents and is expected to list on the HoSE by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the company said.

VEAM presented its plan to list on the HoSE to shareholders in June last year.

In 2019, the company plans to earn VND6.4 trillion (US$274 million), up 23 per cent. Financial income is expected to increase 32 per cent.

VEAM said its 2019 dividend payment target of 38.84 per cent will likely not be met because affiliate companies may not pay on schedule.

If there was no delay in the payment, the company's after-tax profit in 2019 could amount to VND6.8 trillion, VEAM said.

Masan Consumer to finalise list of dividend receivers

Masan Consumer JSC (MCH) is finalising a list of shareholders who will receive cash dividends on June 10.

The dividend will be issued at a rate of 45 per cent, meaning that each shareholder will receive VND4,500 per share.

The company will spend about VND2.7 trillion (US$115 million) on the dividend payment.

In 2018, Masan Consumer achieved revenue of VND17 trillion, up 28.7 per cent compared to 2017. Post-tax profit reached VND3.4 trillion, an increase of 51 per cent year-on-year.

The company has also announced its business results for the first quarter of this year with revenue of VND3.8 trillion and post-tax profit of over VND800 billion.

May’s new order growth of Viet Nam’s manufacturing fastest in year-to-date

Viet Nam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 52.0 in May, down marginally from 52.5 in April but still representing an improvement in business conditions in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector.

A survey by Nikkei and IHS Markit released on Monday showed the softer improvement in the health of the sector was recorded in spite of stronger increases in both output and new orders. The securing of new customers helped firms to register new order growth, with the rate of expansion the strongest in 2019 so far. New export orders also increased in May, and at a solid pace.

Rises in new orders, both from domestic and overseas clients, were reportedly behind the latest increase in manufacturing output. Growth has now been registered on a monthly basis throughout the past year-and-a-half.

The investment goods sector was the best-performing broad manufacturing category in May, posting the fastest expansions of output, new orders and new export orders.

“The demand side of the Vietnamese manufacturing sector remained rosy in May, with faster increases in output and new orders recorded,” Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said.

According to the survey, the moderation in the headline figure principally reflected a drop in employment – the third in the past four months. Staffing levels fell marginally, with panellists mainly linking this to employee resignations and retirements.

Manufacturers increased their purchasing activity at a solid and accelerated pace in May as they responded to greater output requirements. The rise in input buying fed through to an accumulation of stocks of purchases, the second in as many months. Sufficient stock holdings at suppliers were also reported, helping lead to an improvement in delivery times.

Meanwhile, stocks of finished goods decreased in May, thereby ending a seven-month sequence of accumulation. Where post-production inventories fell, this was linked to the use of stocks to meet new orders.

The rate of input cost inflation ticked down and was slower than the series average. Where higher input prices were recorded, panellists mentioned increased costs of electricity, gasoline and oil. Relatively weak cost inflation and some reports of demand weakness in certain export markets meant that firms lowered their output prices slightly again in May. Charges have now decreased in six successive months.

Business confidence improved for the third month running to the highest since last November. Optimism regarding output growth reflected expected increases in new orders and new product launches.

“There appear to be issues around the supply of labour, however, with reports of resignations and retirements leading to reduced employment levels in spite of the aforementioned improvements in demand and output requirements. This led the PMI to tick lower, a picture which could be reversed in coming months should the demand side remain strong and firms be able to replace departed workers,” said Andrew.

Border guard forces in An Giang crack down on timber smuggling

Approximately 2.5 cu.m. of wood with a total value of VND45 million was seized by border guards in An Giang province on June 3.

Officers on duty at the Long Binh border gate apprehended a suspicious boat that was travelling from the Cambodian side to Kho wharf in An Hoa Hamlet, Khanh An commune, at 21:30 on June 2.

Upon being disrupted by the border guards, the suspects fled towards the Cambodian border, leaving their cargo behind.

After recovering the haul, the border guards discovered that the cargo consisted of 2.5 cu.m. of wood with a total value of VND45 million.

The authorities are currently investigating the case further.

Vietnam’s airport ground services firm receives service quality awards

The Vietnam Airport Ground Services Company Limited (VIAGS), a member of Vietnam Airlines Corporation, was awarded with the global second prize cup from the five-star All Nippon Airways (ANA) of Japan.

This is the second consecutive year ANA has selected VIAGS from airports that it flies to around the world to present awards on service quality.

Since the beginning of this year, the company has received nine awards related to service quality from international aviation organisations and airlines.

VIAGS was founded on January 1, 2016 basing on the merger of three ground services firms which are now its subsidiaries at Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat and Da Nang international airports.

The company currently specialises in providing services at terminals and aprons, technical services, ground trade for passengers and aircraft, and commercial services, tourism, hotels, duty-free sales at terminals.

Dong Nai’s export growth slows in first five months

The export turnover of enterprises operating in the southern province of Dong Nai in the first five months of 2019 hit US$7.7 billion, representing a year-on-year rise of 3.4 per cent, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

In May alone, the total export turnover reached $1.69 billion, 9.8 per cent higher than the previous month, and up 1.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.

Import and export activities in Dong Nai are mainly led by foreign-invested enterprises, accounting for 85 per cent of the province's total import and export value.

In the first months of 2019, a number of key exporters of leather, textiles and mechanical products reported slower growth compared to 2018.

The department attributed the locality’s slowing export turnover to the impacts of global trade protection policies.

Director of the department Duong Minh Dung said the US-China trade war had caused countries in the region to build tariff barriers to protect their domestic goods and minimise imports, thus affecting Viet Nam's exports.

The provincial Association of Exporters said orders from now to the end of the year for large enterprises operating in the leather and shoe industry in Dong Nai had decreased from 10-15 per cent, while those in the garment industry dropped by 7 per cent.

Meanwhile, local producers of wood and wooden products in Dong Nai reported they had received orders until the end of 2019 but their partners were asking for discounts, adding that this caused many difficulties for them as the prices of electricity and gasoline had increased, raising production costs.

Although Dong Nai’s export turnover in the first five months increased slowly, the locality still enjoyed a trade surplus of $1.2 billion.

The locality’s export turnover is still expected to reach over $20 billion, with a trade surplus of $2.6 billion.

BUSINESS NEWS 7/6

 
 
 
 
 
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