MoIT concerned over potential electricity shortages


Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh sounded the alarm about the high risk of power shortages at a meeting earlier this week.

In a report sent to the Government and the National Assembly, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said extreme weather conditions have left many hydropower plants without enough water to produce electricity.

The MoIT plans to import 20 million tonnes of coal in 2020 and 35 million tonnes in 2035. It also added the local supply of gas was not enough to generate electricity for projects in the southeast and the southwest of the country. There are more than 10 projects in the area accounting for 16 percent of total capacity in Viet Nam.

MoIT said demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will continue to be strong, outpacing domestic production by 2020 requiring the country to import around one million cubic metres a year.

Phung Van Sy, general manager of the ministry’s oil and gas division, said Vietnam’s natural gas supply is currently 9-10 billion cubic metres a year.

Currently, the electricity system still met demand for socio-economic development, however, with no backup plan, there was a risk of electricity shortage in 2020, said MoIT.

In 2021-2025, even by using the maximum of oil-powered sources, there will be a shortage of electricity in the south with the shortage increasing from 3.7 billion kWh in 2021 to nearly 10 billion kWh in 2022, predicted the MoIT.

The ministry also said the highest deficit of electricity will be in 2023 with a shortage of 12 billion kWh, then a gradual decrease to 7 billion kWh in 2024 and 3.5 billion kWh in 2025.

MoIT needs to take actions to ensure national energy security, said Anh at the meeting.

“There are many electricity projects that are behind schedule, causing the risk of electricity shortage,” he added.

The MoIT has requested agencies review the situation and take measures to hasten the delayed projects so Vietnam has more sources of electricity.

Together with the action, Anh told his ministry to study and find alternative solutions such as electricity imports and renewable energy. He asked them to review current mechanisms and policies of energy so see what should be changed to fix the problem.

He also asked the National Steering Committee for Electricity Development to monitor the electricity situation and to work with the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises to issue capital, especially foreign currency, to help electricity enterprises in Vietnam boost production.

Anh said relevant units will have a monthly working session on the matter, which they can use to review the situation of delayed projects and prepare for different power generation scenarios.

“The MoIT will have a specific report to the Government about the risk of electricity shortage and offer solutions for the problem,” said Anh./.

Steel products experience slow consumption in October

Consumption of steel products, especially colour-coated steel, declined in October while production continued to rise, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

The VSA said construction steel production of its members reached 914,520 tonnes in October, up 10.05 percent compared to September and similar to to the same period in 2018. However, consumption reached 867,356 tonnes, up 9.42 percent compared to September but down 3.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

The association also calculated that production of hot rolled steel products reached 353,420 tonnes, up 17.28 percent compared to September and up 3.4 percent over the same period in 2018, but consumption was only 291,850 tonnes, down 7.83 percent and 1.5 percent compared to September and the same period last year, respectively.

Similarly, cold rolled steel production reached 331,365 tonnes, up 1.96 percent compared to September and equal to last year. Consumption reached 184,920 tonnes, a decrease of 6.72 percent compared to September but an increase of 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Colour-coated steel production saw the sharpest decline in October, reaching 348,902 tonnes, an increase of 4.51 percent compared to September, but down 15.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Consumption reached 325,998 tonnes, an increase of 4.32 percent compared to September but down 5.3 percent year-on-year.

Exports declined 18.8 percent compared to the same period in 2018 to 130,158 tonnes. In recent years exports of corrugated iron products had been on the rise. The decrease in consumption and increased production had caused problems for many enterprises, forcing them to lay off employees.

Ninh Thi Bich Thuy, general director of TVP Steel Joint Stock Company, said the consumption of corrugated iron faced difficulties due to local competitive pressure between local and imported products as well as from the US-China trade tension which affected exports with stricter trade barriers.

Tightened lending from banks for the realty market had also slowed down the construction industry, she added.

As of September 30, Vietnam had exported more than 5.95 million tonnes of finished and semi-finished products, up 3.9 percent in volume over the same period in 2018 but down 8 percent in value, reaching over 3.9 billion USD.

According to the VSA, while exports fell sharply, imports had continued to increase year by year. As of September 30, imports of finished and semi-finished steel products reached more than 12 million tonnes, and total import turnover reached more than 8.2 billion USD. Most imported products came from China, Japan, Republic of Korea (RoK), China’s Taiwan and India.

To help local steel producers, on October 29, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) decided to apply anti-dumping duties on some colour-coated steel products originating from the RoK and China. It also extended anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled stainless steel products originating from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan for an additional five years, starting from October 26./.

Citi, Lazada unveil credit card partnership in Vietnam

Citi, the largest pan-regional credit issuer, and Lazada Group, Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce platform, have announced the launch of a new Lazada Citi credit card in Vietnam.

This is the third market in the region where they are offering the co-branded card after Malaysia and Thailand.

Cardholders will enjoy 10 times the normal points on Lazada purchases, get 30 percent weekend discounts and more.

New applicants will receive up to Đ2 million VND (86 USD) worth of Lazada vouchers and have their application fees waived when they apply online.

Natasha Ansell, Citi Vietnam country officer and consumer business manager, said: “This is a step forward in partnership for the credit card business as it showcases the power of e-commerce combined with the strengths of a global financial platform.”

James Dong, CEO of Lazada Vietnam, said: “Themed ‘Play-it-up’, the Lazada Citi credit card is a great choice for shoppers to embrace cashless digital lifestyle solutions and demand more value out of their purchases. We are thrilled to be partnering with Citi to offer this card to our customers.”

With the new card, the bank will access a younger, digital-savvy customer pool who makes up a majority of e-commerce customers in the region while Lazada widens its breadth of offers and services by leveraging a global financial platform.

The two partners are targeting over 500,000 sign-ups across the region in the next few years. /.

An Giang province boost cooperation with US

The Mekong Delta province of An Giang expects further cooperation with the US in the fields of smart city development, renewable energy, water resources, climate change, trade and education, among others, said Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh on November 18.

At a working session with a delegation from the US General Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City led by US Consul General Marie C. Damour, Binh spoke highly of the fruitful cooperation with the US through the consulate in the past time.

Mango, a staple in the locality, was officially exported to the US, opening new opportunities for Vietnamese fruits to break in the American market in the time ahead, while the province’s tra fish products have affirmed its position in this fastidious market, he said.

Introducing the US delegation of the province’s rice export potential, Binh said An Giang is currently among the country’s leading rice producers, with total output of more than 4 million tonnes a year and a multitude of high-quality rice products.

An Giang province wants to cooperate more with the US side in English language teaching programmes and introduction of US scholarships, he said, adding the Consulate’s Micro Access programme has helped the province improve English capacity for local students, while An Giang University has enjoyed sound collaboration with US universities and partners.

Meanwhile, the US diplomat hailed collaboration between the two sides in the past years, hoping that they will have more education cooperative programmes soon, including sending An Giang students to the US to pursue study in the fields of An Giang’s interest.

The General Consulate pledges to study and work to tap cooperative opportunities between the two sides across healthcare, clean energy and smart city, as well as enhance exports of An Giang agricultural products to the US in the coming time, she stated./.

Inflation controllable despite soaring pork prices: Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue stated that this year’s inflation is controllable, at 3.3 – 3.9 percent, while chairing a November 18 meeting on the recent surge in prices of pork, an essential foodstuff.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien reported that from early February to November 15, African swine fever was recorded in almost 8,500 communes across the 63 provinces and cities. Up to 5.88 million pigs weighing 337,000 tonnes were culled, accounting for over 8.8 percent of the total pig weight nationwide.

Recently, average prices have reached 60,000 – 67,000 VND (2.59 – 2.89 USD), even 72,000 VND, per kg of live pigs due to supply shortage. Meanwhile, in some places, pigs are still transported to China via border crossings, he noted.

Data of the General Statistics Office (GSO) show that pork prices at present have increased by almost 19 percent from the same period last year. They now stand at 70,000 – 75,000 VND per kg in the north, even 78,000 VND in Lao Cai and Hung Yen provinces; 70,000 VND per kg in the central region; and 65,000 – 75,000 VND per kg in the south.

This office predicts that the consumer price index (CPI) in November may rise by 0.8 – 1 percent from last month, and pork price hikes will contribute 0.75 percent to the CPI expansion.

It also forecast a shortage of more than 200,000 tonnes of pork, compared to the total demand for over 600,000 tonnes, in the fourth quarter of 2019. If pork prices continue to increase by 10 – 15 percent to around 80,000 VND per kg, this year’s CPI will grow by less than 3 percent against 2018, still under the ceiling limit of 4 percent.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the country is likely to experience a shortage of 70,000 – 90,000 tonnes of pork in live weight for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, which falls on late January 2020.

He said relevant agencies should consider importing pork if domestic supply is insufficient, adding that this will help cool down pork prices and reduce inflation expectations.

At the meeting, Deputy PM Hue said supply shortage is obvious, noting that supply and demand must be balanced on the monthly basis. He asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development to consider pork import.

However, he noted, the import must ensure supply for consumers while not affecting pig farmers, and the move is just to deal with the temporary supply shortage and not a long-term activity.

Hue affirmed inflation will still be kept at 3.3 – 3.9 percent this year and that the Government will manage to ensure supply – demand balance and harmonise interests of consumers, businesses and intermediaries./.

Law on Enterprises needs greater reforms: experts

Vietnam must continue to improve on its Law on Enterprises, experts and researchers said at a law conference in Hanoi on November 18.

The business code, since its formation in 1999 and two major reforms in 2005 and 2014, still has numerous shortcomings and limitations, according to the experts.

Compliance costs – expenses incurred to keep up with industry regulations – remained high. Notably, decreases in compliance, if any, were often results of Government directives or reform programmes when what the country desperately needs is a framework to reduce such costs systematically, said Nguyen Dinh Cung, former head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).

Ministries and agencies tend to over-regulate the business sector, especially firms specialised in legal services, finance and banking. Technical barriers often proved to be significant hurdles to starting operations in such fields. Level of policy risk and legal complication remained high. Businesses often found themselves without reliable means to protect their legitimate interests, said Cung.

Ministries were slow to push for legal reforms thanks to both red tape and a lack of incentives.

“One cannot expect changes to come from within the ministries. If what we are hoping for are swift legal reforms we must find the strength to push for them in the private sector,” said Cung.

On the other hand, according to Cung, the law has been getting more lax when it comes to State-owned-enterprises (SoEs). Regulatory oversights and poor law-enforcement have resulted in many SoEs being unable to establish an efficient management framework or fail to adhere to good management practices.

Pham Duc Trung, head researcher of CIEM’s business reform and development, said the country has been struggling with the implementation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 39 principles for corporate governance as a standard for business management.

For example, the State has yet to define its strategy and function in many SoEs even after the formation of the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises – a central body responsible for the management of a massive amount of assets owned by the State in SoEs.

A lack of autonomy has resulted in SoEs being unable to adopt modern management standards because SoEs cannot make important decisions without approval from the State, Trung said.

Trung called for greater autonomy be granted to SoEs along with accountability for their performance. The State must build a system of performance criteria for SoEs to follow and they must be made to publicise financial information and their management board selection./.

Companies from Hanoi and Poland seek cooperation

Representatives of Hanoi enterprises and their counterparts from Poland gathered in the capital on November 18 to seek potential cooperation at a forum.

The Vietnam - Poland Economic Development Cooperation Forum was held by the Hanoi Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (Hanoisme) and Poland's Lower Silesian Agency for Economic Cooperation (DAWG).

According to a report by Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, as of October 2019, Poland had eight foreign direct investment projects in the city with total registered capital of 134.83 million USD in realty, manufacturing and processing industry, information and communications.

The eight representative offices of Polish firms mostly worked in pharmaceuticals.

The city’s total export turnover to Poland accounted for 2.5 percent of total exports while Poland’s exports to Hanoi accounted for 26 percent of Poland's total export turnover to Vietnam, said Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade.

Lan said Hanoi's major exports included textiles, agricultural products, handicrafts and footwear, while imports from Poland included animal feed and pharmaceuticals.

DAWG's Vice President Robert Iwan said at the forum though Vietnam and Poland are both major producers and exporters in agriculture, our products are not duplicated but complimentary to each other, adding that the potential for cooperation of both sides is still huge, especially when the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is about to come into effect.

Lan also expressed the city's desire to learn from Poland.

Hanoi wants to learn from Poland, especially Lower Silesia’s experience of high-tech agricultural development.

The cooperation will help local businesses build the value chain with advanced technology to meet the requirements of Polish and European markets, she said.

Also at the forum, more than 50 local enterprises joined a B2B meeting between Vietnamese and Polish enterprises.

On the occasion, the Trade Promotion and Enterprise Support Centre (part of Hanoisme), Greentour Hanoi Company and Poland's Hotel Service 24 Company signed a memorandum of understanding for a trade promotion programme connecting enterprises from Hanoi and Poland.

Trade and investment cooperation between Poland and Vietnam has seen positive growth in recent years.

In 2018, two-way turnover between Vietnam and Poland reached nearly 1.6 billion USD, up some 60 percent compared to 2017.

By the end of September 2019, total import and export turnover of the two countries reached more than 1.3 billion USD of which, Vietnam exported more than 1.1 billion USD and imported more than 207 million USD./.

US group inaugurates animal feed plant in Ha Nam province

The US group Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) inaugurated an animal feed plant in the northern province of Ha Nam on November 19.

The plant, built on 4.6 ha at Hoa Mac industrial park, Duy Tien district, mainly produces feed for pigs, poultry and rabbits.

Pierre Duprat, president of ADM's Animal Nutrition business, said the building of the plant is part of the group’s strategy of expanding to key breeding areas in the north of Vietnam with convenient access to seaport facility services.

The plant aims to employ about 200 seasonal and permanent workers, he added.

Nguyen Xuan Duong, acting director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Livestock Production, said the US group has actively contributed to the development of the livestock industry in Vietnam over the past 25 years.

He hoped with new modern technology and financial potentials, ADM will continue bring the latest technology to Vietnam and connecting the Vietnamese livestock market with the global market.

The ADM’s animal feed plant in Ha Nam is expected to help the province and neighbouring areas develop safe animal products for domestic sales and exports, he said.

ADM is a global leader in animal nutrition with over 110 production facilities around the world. The group has invested in Vietnam since 1995 and now has five production facilities./.

Vietnam’s export of squid, octopus to US surges in 2019

Vietnam’s export of squid and octopus to the US market saw a strong rise of 63.7 percent in the first nine months of 2019 to reach 11.4 million USD, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Main export items were dried squid, marinated squid, frozen squid, frozen whole octopus and frozen processed octopus.

The US is now the sixth largest importer of Vietnam’s squid and octopus, accounting for 2.7 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total export of those products.

As the US-China trade tension escalates, the US raises tariffs on some Chinese squid and octopus products by 30 percent, which has brought opportunities for similar products of Vietnam./.

Annual furniture fair targets domestic market

The 2019 Vietnam Furniture and Home Furnishing Fair (VIFA Home 2019) will be held in HCM City from November 28 to December 1 to promote locally made wooden furniture, home decor and handicrafts.

The expo will have 600 booths set up by 120 firms to showcase outdoor and indoor furniture, handicrafts, and household appliances.

Huynh Van Hanh, deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA), told a press briefing in HCM City on November 19 that in addition to a number of large domestic furniture retailers such as Chilai, Home'Furni, Toan Phu Furniture, VietmayHome, and Duy Tan, the fair this year has also attracted prestigious export brands such as Scancia Pacific, Savimex, Donata, Lê Tran, Viet Can, and Sadaco Binh Dương.

“These firms will bring their products to VIFA Home this year for domestic customers. This is a good sign for the domestic market, which has high demand for export products,” Hanh said.

He added that with the message ‘Furniture banquet’, VIFA Home this year will underline its status as the biggest furniture fair in the country, enabling consumers to find complete packages for their living spaces.

According to Hanh, with a population of nearly 100 million, increasing incomes, and rapid development of the property market, the Vietnamese market is a promising one for the furniture industry.

Domestic furniture consumption has increased significantly in recent years, and is expected to reach 5 billion USD this year, nearly equal to exports, he said.

Thai Le Huong, marketing manager at Cozy Living Company, which distributes furniture, said its domestic sales were growing by more than 30 percent a year mainly driven by demand from apartments.

Nguyen Chien Thang, chairman of HAWA Corporation, said Vietnamese are paying more attention to creating beautiful living spaces.

“They prefer customised furniture, which is the strength of small and medium-sized enterprises,” he added.

Organised by HAWA and HAWA Corporation, the fair will also feature seminars, game shows, art performances, and lucky draws.

The ASEAN Furniture Industries Council delegation with more than 50 representatives of Southeast Asian furniture associations and businesses will visit the fair to explore business opportunities.


Over the last 10 years the annual expo has acted as a bridge connecting wooden furniture producers, traders, distributors, and retailers./.

First Vietpresso coffee contest held in HCM City

Real Bean Coffee, Trung Nguyen Legend and Lamant Coffee won the gold, silver and bronze prizes at the first Vietpresso Contest held in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

Organised by Central Retail Vietnam together with 15 prestigious coffee brands and shops on the sidelines of Vietnam Foodexpo 2019, the competition sought to add value to Vietnamese coffee brands so that more higher-value coffee products can be exported instead of raw materials.

Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Europe - America market department, said while Vietnam leads the world in robusta coffee exports, the value is not commensurate.

Last year, Vietnam exported 1.88 million tonnes of coffee worth 3.5 billion USD, an increase of 20 percent in volume but only 1 percent in value.

The VietPresso contest was organised to select some of the best quality coffee products for promoting in European countries during the Vietnam coffee promotion programme next year, he said./.

HCM City ensures supply of essential goods for Tet

Ho Chi Minh City authorities are working with local businesses to ensure supply of essential goods under the city’s market stabilisation programme for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Under the market stabilisation programme for the year, essential foods include 10 commodity groups. These goods normally account for 25-30 percent of market demand, but in the months prior to and during Tet, the figure rises to 30-40 percent.

Tran Duy Dong, director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Domestic Market, said it would ensure supply of essential goods in the last months of the year and during January. The holiday falls on January 25.

Dong, however, pointed out that the supply of essential goods and stabilised prices are “ensured at supermarkets, but prices at traditional markets are not”.

The ministry will also closely monitor changes in supply and demand, and will oversee enforcement of regulations on price registration, price declaration and price management.

In addition, the ministry will focus on prevention of smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeit and fake goods, and poor quality goods in an aim to protect consumers and legitimate businesses.

Pham Thanh Hung, director of the Ba Huan Joint Stock Company, said the company was preparing goods to secure sufficient supply for the market at the end of the year.

It has opened an 18-ha farm with a capacity of 1 million chickens and a 34-ha farm with a capacity of 5 million chickens.

Nguyen Dang Phu, deputy CEO of Vissan Joint Stock Company, said the company had signed contracts with suppliers to ensure sufficient supply of pork for the holiday, and that production of processed products for Tet was at its peak.

Due to the impact of African swine fever, pork supply has been greatly affected, but the company said it would maintain supply, he said.

Saigon Co.op, which provides essential goods in 10 product groups in the price stabilisation programme, has organised capital supply for satellite enterprises to prepare goods, and its suppliers have also prepared for the holiday.

In October, Ho Chi Minh City began preparing for the Tet holiday by increasing reserves of pork as well as other meat alternatives for pork with promotion and discount activities.

Nguyen Huynh Trang, deputy director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, said the city has taken steps to ensure pork supply in January.

Since the beginning of the year, the city has been carrying out measures to maintain supply of essential goods for the market.

In the past 10 months, the market prices of essential goods have been fairly stable, and there have been no shortages of goods or sudden hikes in prices, Trang said.

For the pre-Tet and Tet period (from Dec 26 to Jan 24), the total value of goods prepared by enterprises will reach more than 10.22 trillion VND, she said. Enterprises participating in the price stabilisation programme have promised not to raise prices in the month before Tet or the month after the holiday.

The price of pigs remains fairly high, fluctuating from 52,000 - 60,000 VND per kg, as demand to export pigs to China has increased.

Pham Thanh Kien, director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said the city would not interfere in price policies but instead would allow normal supply and demand in the market to dictate prices.

Demand for pork in the city is about 10,000 pigs per day, and on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, it rises 1.5 times higher than normal./.

Conference reviews restructuring of agro-forestry companies

The restructuring of agro-forestry companies has created jobs to workers in border, remote and ethnic minority regions, contributing to socio-political stability, agricultural and new rural development, heard a conference in Hanoi on November 18.

The event aimed to review the five-year implementation of the Politburo’s Resolution No.30-NQ/TW dated March 12, 2014 and the Government’s Decree No.118/2014/ND-CP dated December 17, 2014, on the arrangement, renewing, development and improvement in the operational efficiency of agricultural and forestry companies.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, who is also head of the Central Steering Committee for Business Innovation and Development, said 160 out of the 256 agro-forestry companies shifted to the new model as of June 30, 2019, adding that the Government will strive to basically complete the task by 2020.

A number of agro-forestry companies have adopted the equitisation model and attracted investors with financial capacity, sci-tech mastery and governance skills, he said.

In his speech, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pointed out shortcomings regarding land use at plantations and wastefulness of land and resources that violate interests of businesses, individuals and organisations.

He highlighted the need to fine-tune laws and policies; effectively manage land, forest and human resources; and pay attention to job creation and ensuring livelihoods of local residents, especially ethnic minorities.

The Government leader also directed the Committee for Management of State Capital to thoroughly review the restructuring of coffee, rubber and forestry corporations which are managing a vast area of land./.

Open-end funds expect stronger performance in 2020

Open-end funds in Vietnam are looking forward to better performance in 2020 as more investors seek assistance from funds’ products and services.

The number of investors opening new accounts at open-end funds in Vietnam was 35,000 at the end of September, according to the Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD).

Meanwhile, only 900 accounts were closed.

The total number of trading accounts at open-end funds in Vietnam as of September 30, 2019 was 110,000 – which was 12 times the figure recorded four years ago.

The total number of active funds in Vietnam was 28. In 2019, six new funds were set up.

Most investors are domestic individuals. More than 720 accounts belong to foreign individual investors. In addition, nearly 100 foreign institutional investors and more than 220 domestic institutional investors have created accounts.

According to Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, head of VSD’s fund service and new product division, the strong increase in the number of fund accounts prove investors are becoming more interested in open-end funds’ products and services.

VSD chief executive officer Duong Van Thanh said that the agency’s fund services have helped boost the operation of investment funds in Vietnam’s equity market.

A total of 33 funds are working with VSD, including 28 open-end funds, two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and three closed-end funds. The total net asset value (NAV) of open-end funds grew year-on-year to more than 21 trillion VND (904.7 million USD) in 2019.

VSD expects to improve its cooperation with investment funds to boost the market’s performance in 2020-25, Thanh said.

The growth of the number of fund-activated accounts is the evidence market members (investment funds and securities firms), the State Securities Commission (SSC), VSD and investors have made best efforts to strengthen the creditability for investment funds, Nguyen Hai Nam, head of SSC’s fund managers and securities investment funds management department, said.

There will be more opportunities for the investment fund sector to grow as the amended Law on Securities is expected to be approved by the National Assembly in November, meeting international standards and practices, he said.

According to VNDirect Securities Corporation’s IPA Asset Management CEO Nguyen Ho Nga, investors are turning from purchasing stocks to buying fund certificates and attached services, which are getting diversified, better-quality and quickly-resolved.

The launch of voluntary pension fund in 2020 is also expected to boost the Vietnamese fund sector.

VSD chairman Nguyen Son said that Vietnam’s investment fund sector is much younger than other economies’ but it has made strong growth in recent years.

He expected fund management firms, securities companies and market regulators, with the approval of the amended securities law, will make the Vietnamese equity market more professional in the near future./.

VN30 firms take 92 percent of all top listed firms’ total Q3 profits

The top 60 biggest companies by market capitalisation and trading liquidity on the two local stock exchanges saw combined post-tax profit gain of 22.5 percent to 46.75 trillion VND (2 billion USD) in the third quarter of 2019.

Profits recorded by the top 30 firms on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange accounted for nearly 92.3 percent of the total figure.

They posted 43.14 trillion VND in Q3 post-tax profit, up 23.8 percent year on year. The figure was 12 times the profits made by the 30 top companies on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, which was 3.6 trillion VND.

After nine months, the 60 biggest listed companies on the two local exchanges earned a total of 113.86 trillion VND in post-tax profit, a yearly increase of 14.6 percent.

In terms of total asset, VN30 companies had more than 7 trillion VND worth of assets on September 30. The figure was 8.3 times HNX30 firms’ and up 2.3 percent from the previous quarter ending June 30.

Twenty-one of the 30 firms in the VN30 basket announced annual profit growth in the third quarter and nine others had negative earnings growth rates.

Lender Sacombank (STB) and insurer Bao Viet Group (BVH) were the two firms recording the biggest jumps in earning growth rates.

Other VN30 firms that also recorded strong annual increase of profits in the third quarter included Vietcombank (VCB), property developer Vinhomes (VHM), Techcombank (TCB), VPBank (VPB) and Masan Group (MSN).

On the opposite end, steel producer Hoa Phat (HPG), multi-sector business Vingroup (VIC), real estate firm Novaland (NVL), PetroVietnam Gas Corp (GAS), building contractor Coteccons (CTD) and SSI Securities Corp (SSI) were the firms whose profits in the third quarter of 2019 were beaten by last year’s figures.

Three companies in the HNX30-Index posting losses in the third quarter were PetroVietnam Coating Corporation (PVB), Tri Viet Group (TVC) and constructor Vimeco JSC (VMC).

According to analysts and investors, share prices of HNX30 firms are lower than those of VN30 companies because of the lower earnings recorded by the former.

HNX30 companies’ shares ranged from 1,300 VND per share to 85,800 VND per share at November 15 close.

Meanwhile, none of the VN30 firms’ stocks ended last week below the stock’s par value of 10,000 VND per share./.

Phu Yen calls for WB’s support in infrastructure, economic development

The south central coastal province of Phu Yen has called for the World Bank (WB)’s provision of official development assistance (ODA) and soft loans for infrastructure and economic development in the locality.

Speaking at a conference on Phu Yen-WB development cooperation in Tuy Hoa city on November 16, Pham Dai Duong, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that Phu Yen is in need of WB’s credit assistance to build transport system and natural prevention works such as sea dykes and reservoirs.

The locality also hopes for technical support in planning and conducting feasibility study on the building of smart city in Tuy Hoa, along with consultations in calling for resources from the outside and promoting public-private partnership, he said.

Phu Yen pledges to become a trustworthy local partner of the WB, vowed the provincial leader.

WB Country Director in Vietnam Ousmane Dione said that the bank is willing to cooperate with the south central province and become the locality’s partner in areas proposed by the locality.

Following the conference, the WB will take specific actions to implement relevant projects, he said.

Over the years, Phu Yen has called for resources for the improvement of infrastructure system and socio-economic development.

In the 2011-2015 period, Phu Yen received 14 projects worth 1.38 trillion VND funded by ODA and soft loans, up 21.1 percent over that in the 2006-2010 period.

The resources mostly came from the WB, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the German Development Bank (KfW), and the French Development Agency (AFD).

The province has attracted two WB-funded projects on overcoming natural disasters’ consequences and strengthening land and land data management for 2016-2020./.

HCM City, China’s Yunnan province bolster tourism cooperation

Ho Chi Minh City always attaches importance to promoting ties with Chinese localities, said Vice Chairman of the municipal City People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan on November 15.

The official made the remark while hosting a reception for Vice Governor of China’s Yunnan province Li Malin, who is on a working visit to the city.

HCM City has to date established partnership with eight Chinese localities and will continue to foster cooperation with localities in China, benefitting people of both countries, he noted.

Hoan affirmed the consistent policy of the Communist Party and the Government of Vietnam, which highly values multifaceted cooperation with their Chinese counterparts, especially through visits of the countries’ leaders over the time.

Noting the development potential of Yunnan province, Hoan voiced his hope that the visit of the province’s delegation will strengthen the HCM City-Yunnan ties in various fields.

Local authorities welcome further cooperation between the two localities, especially in tourism development, on which the two sides had previously signed an MoU on cooperation.

For her part, Li Malin briefed her host on Yunnan province’s potential for economic development, hoping to bolster cooperation with the southern economic hub of Vietnam in health care and tourism, among other.

She pledged that the Chinese province will create favourable conditions for cooperation and experience exchange between the two localities.

The direct air route linking Yunnan and HCM City is an advantage for the bilateral collaboration in tourism, raising the number of tourists to the two destinations, she added./.

Island commune to expand floating-cage breeding of marine fish

An island commune in the southern coastal province of Kien Giang is expanding marine aquaculture in combination with tourism and other services to further the incomes of local farmers.

Hon Nghe commune in the province's Kien Luong district aims to have 1,000ha of marine aquaculture next year.

Located about 15 km off the mainland, the island commune has 619 households that live mostly on fishing and marine aquaculture.

In 2010, households began to use floating cages to breed fish fry caught in the area's clean sea waters, and one year later, as many as 53 households were breeding marine fish in 150 floating cages.

Today, 189 households breed marine fish in a total of 1,089 floating cages, according to the commune's People’s Committee. Most of the farmed marine fish are grouper and cobia.

Huynh Van Chieu, who breeds grouper in 44 floating cages in Bai Nam Hamlet, earns a profit of more than 8 billion VND (345,500 USD) from each harvest.

Groupers, which are normally harvested after slightly more than one year of breeding, are mostly exported to Hong Kong.

Traders from other provinces regularly come to the commune to buy farmed marine fish.

However, the area faces small-scale farming and a lack of sophisticated farming techniques. Only 50 households are engaged in large-scale breeding and have stable outlets.

“We need more capital and better farming techniques,” Chieu said, adding that more support would help farmers switch from fishing to aquaculture.

Nguyen Huu Thanh, secretary of the commune Party Committee and chairman of its People’s Committee, said the commune regularly organises training courses on aquaculture techniques for local farmers, including how to build floating cages.

The commune has also asked credit organisations to provide loans to households that breed marine fish, while the People’s Committee has urged companies to guarantee outlets for products of aquaculture cooperatives.

Two environmental monitoring systems that inspect the quality of sea water in marine aquaculture areas have also been set up. Some of the floating cages have been rearranged./. 

Nghe An province looks to augment trade, tourism ties with Laos

The potential of and ways to promote trade and tourism between Nghe An and Laos were discussed at a seminar in Vinh city of the Vietnamese central province on November 15.

Deputy Director of Nghe An’s Department of Industry and Trade Vo Thi An said Laos has continually been among the top 10 trade partners of the province. In 2018, trade between Nghe An and Laos reached 23.27 million USD, with exports to Laos mainly building materials, aquatic products and consumer goods, and imports from the neighbouring country mostly timber, fruits, vegetables and plaster.

Meanwhile, about 90 enterprises of Nghe An have invested over 200 million USD in projects in Laos, she noted.

She proposed that to further reinforce trade links, the Vietnamese and Lao governments, ministries, sectors and the People’s Committee of Nghe An should step up the signing and implementation of cooperation deals between the two countries and their provinces, thus creating a favourable legal corridor for business partnerships between Vietnamese and Lao firms.

Additionally, state agencies should press on with the plan on building an expressway linking Hanoi and Vientiane capitals that will run through Thanh Thuy Border Gate of Nghe An to create a driving force for economic connectivity among Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

An also called for funding for the upgrade of markets and infrastructure at Vietnam-Laos border gates, including those in Nghe An.

At the seminar, First Secretary of the Laos Embassy in Vietnam May Kham Kheua noted his country has licensed 409 projects worth some 4.1 billion USD of Vietnamese businesses, making Vietnam the third biggest foreign investor there, following China and Thailand.

Laos has stepped up the attraction of direct investment. Besides, relevant agencies of both countries have also worked to deal with difficulties and obstacles facing Vietnamese businesses in Laos, he said.

In the recent past, to boost tourism links with Laos, Nghe An has organised several events to introduce its tourism potential in Vientiane. Its travel agencies have also enhanced cooperation with partners in Lao provinces to provide tours from Nghe An to Bolikhamxay, Khammoune, Vientiane, Xiangkhouang and Luang Prabang of Laos and vice versa. Tours along roads linking the two countries have also been offered to tourists.

Among Vietnamese localities, Nghe An shares the longest borderline with Laos – 468km, equivalent to 20 percent of the total length, with four border gates and many crossings connecting with Xiangkhouang, Houaphanh and Bolikhamxay provinces of Laos./.


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