VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 18

Vietnam’s digital economy presents chances for investors, start-ups

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 18

The newswire techwireasia.com on June 16 ran an article saying that Vietnam has been steadily growing its highly promising digital economy, presenting multiple opportunities for investors, startups, and businesses alike. 

The author wrote that in recent years, the Southeast Asian region has been seeing rapid and sustained efforts and investment into various digital economy initiatives by both the public and private sectors. Tech giants have been creating waves, most recently the Tokopedia-Gojek merger, and earlier, Grab pushing for a US listing with a valuation of over 40 billion USD. 

Estimates by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co predicted that the Vietnamese sector could grow to 52 billion USD by 2025, which comes up to about a sixth of the massive 300 billion USD regional digital economy pie. 

According to the article, backed by a stable political climate, progressive economic policies, and sustained growth, a lucrative opportunity exists for both local players and investors alike to tap into the country’s potential for economic greatness.

Opportunities include e-commerce services, digital finance, online gaming, and tech-enabled services to power Industry 4.0 progress. Like its ASEAN peers, a majority of Vietnamese residents remain underbanked, making digital financial services a highly attractive option for loans and payments. 

In 2015, the Vietnamese Government announced a ten-year plan for a broad digital transformation of the country, with an ambitious plan to produce 10 startup unicorns valued at over 1 billion USD apiece by 2030. 

Aiming to incorporate at least 10 percent of digital adoption across all sectors and Internet penetration of 80 percent for all households, the plan appears to be on track. 

Southeast Asia’s largest unicorn, Grab, has been investing heavily in accelerators for startups around the region from as early as 2018. Collaborating with both private and public players, Grab has been attracting startups intending to scale via mentorship opportunities, access to Grab’s customer bases, and even potential direct investment.

In 2020, the decacorn (startups valued over 10 billion USD) recognised the potential of Vietnam’s digital economy and launched an accelerator for early-stage startups. Under their Grab Ventures Ignite accelerator program, five winners emerged, who won over 1 million USD in investment and in-kind prizes from Grab and its programme partners. They span the breadth of fields such as retail, insurance, logistics, and communications, the article said./.

HCM City to prioritise investment for rail and BRT projects

Ho Chi Minh City will prioritise investment for metro lines that are being implemented and other new projects under the development plan for railway and green transport development (BRT) projects for 2021-2025 period.

Specifically, the city will complete and put into operation 19.7km-long metro line No. 1 linking Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien tourist park and deploy the construction of 11.32km-long metro line No. 2 linking Ben Thanh Market  and Tham Luong.

Other project lines expected to be carried in this period include the first phase of metro line 5 connecting Bay Hien intersection with Saigon bridge which is 8.9 km long; and the first phase of metro line 3a  which connects Ben Thanh market with Western bus station with a length of 9.7 km long; BRT line No. 1 which has a total length of 23km; and a light rail route connecting Thu Thiem Urban Area with Long Thanh International Airport which is 11.8 km in length.

More than 85 percent of the metro line 1 project has been finished. It is expected to be completed and put into commercial operation in 2022.

Meanwhile, the site clearance is underway for the metro line 2 project and the work will be completed by the end of this year.

HCM City has assigned the City Urban Railway Management Board to coordinate with the Urban Railway No. 1 Co. Ltd and relevant units to devise a detailed implementation plan and propose resources to ensure the operation of metro line No. 1 soon. The construction of metro line 2 and preparation for the investment of other urban railway lines will also be sped up to meet the set plan.

To promote the effectiveness of metro line 1 and metro line 2 in the future, HCM City will construct a project connecting these two metro lines at Ben Thanh station area, with a total estimated investment of about 2 trillion VND (87.2 million USD), in this year. Specifically, a four-storey Ben Thanh underground station which is about 207m long and about 27m wide, and some works on the ground will be built.

In addition, the city authority will also build works connecting with underground parking at Ham Nghi street area, underground commercial centre in Ben Thanh area, while renovating the architectural landscape above the ground in Ben Thanh area and the 23/9 park to harmonise with the planning of this area's architecture.

The green transport development (BRT) Project is scheduled to be kick-started in the fourth quarter of 2021.

It has a total investment of over 121.2 million USD, lent from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), and nearly 423 billion VND (over 18.38 million USD) in reciprocal capital.

Earlier, the city set a target of developing 211 km of railway and BRT in 2021-2030 period. About 66 km of the railway will be developed and the BRT project in Ho Chi Minh City will be implemented in the near future./.

Vietnam’s TNI King Coffee opens first coffee-chain store in the US

Vietnam’s acclaimed coffee brand TNI King Coffee has opened its doors to California’s residents.

The cafe-chain store which originated from Vietnam is strategically located in Anaheim California.

This marks the second overseas store of the cafe-chain which operates more than 50 outlets in Vietnam, the Republic of Korea and now the US.

The layout is designed to combine Eastern and Western culture, reminiscent of the country and people of Vietnam, while the Grab & Go area provides a feeling of convenience and comfort to visitors.

TNI King Coffee’s shop in the United States serves a full range of traditional Vietnamese coffees, such as filter coffee, iced coffee and iced milk coffee, with beans imported from Vietnam and around the world with the ingredients of TNI King Coffee's specialty roasted and ground products./.

Iranian firms eye technology cooperation with Vietnam

Vietnam and Iran planned to hold a webinar next month to improve their technological cooperation, Mehr News of Iran reported on June 15.

The workshop will be hosted by the International Affairs and Technological Exchange Centre from June 26 to July 21.

Mehr quoted the centre as saying that it highly values Vietnam's economic growth in 2020 and believes that the Southeast Asian country can be a good destination and market for Iranian technology firms.

According to the article, Vietnam has set a record for annual economic growth in the recent decade. The latest statistics show that the country’s export turnover of goods and services to the US reached 60 billion USD.

Vietnam is the next destination for Iranian knowledge-based companies specialising in medical equipment, energy, IT, and artificial intelligence (AI) to find a way of investing in the country – which is thirsty for new technologies and products.

Among dynamic Asian economies, Vietnam enjoys a growing economy with high potential, Mehr said, noting that companies and investors from all over the world are increasingly seeking to enter the country.

Long-time growth, high population, political stability, and young workforce are the most important factors to convince Iranian companies to interact with Vietnam, it added.

Interaction with Vietnam would connect Iran to ASEAN free trade region, expanding the playground for Iranian companies to be active in the vast region of Southeast Asia, the article said./.

Vietnamese farm produce gain competitive edge on global market: Central Retail

Vietnam's farm produce can completely compete with products in other countries around the world, Head of Creating Shared Values Projects of Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (CRC) Paul Le told Nong nghiep Viet Nam (Vietnam Agriculture) newspaper.

In a recent interview granted to the newspaper, Le said agriculture is one of the key sectors of Vietnam, noting that the country boasts many traditional products and regional specialties, especially the variety of seasonal products.

The Thailand-based CRC is one of the retail chains that are effectively implementing activities to promote and consume Vietnamese agricultural products on the international market.

The CRC’s vision is to develop with Vietnam through cooperating and supporting Vietnamese products and brands, and local suppliers, Le stressed.

Its development will always go hand in hand with the prosperity of Vietnam, he said, adding that the firm’s programme to accompany Vietnamese agricultural products is one of the the CRC's seven sustainable development strategies in the country.

The business will cooperate with Vietnamese suppliers in building and developing modern retail systems for Vietnamese goods.

According to Le, each product of Vietnam has a very long development history. For example, Thanh Ha lychee has development history of up to 250 years, which means that Vietnamese farmers have up to 250 seasons to gradually better the quality of lychees. This is the reason why Vietnamese lychees are among the best in the world.

In the northern highlands and mountainous regions of Vietnam, the horticulture sector has evolved over hundreds of years to produce distinctive and fresh vegetable products, he said.

Many giant firms in the world have been setting up their supply networks in Vietnam, to be able to directly access the best products from local farmers.

That is reason for Le to believe that Vietnamese agricultural products have many competitive strengths on the international market./.

Vietnam’s stock market makes anticipated progress: UK newspaper

As Vietnam makes its anticipated progress from frontier status to a fully-fledged emerging market, the stock market is now at the stage where more and more private investors are getting on board, according to the UK newspaper Proactive.

The article said Vietnam’s stock market recently topped the milestone of 1 billion USD of daily transactions, making it the second most liquid in South-East Asia.

With the longest record of any independent asset manager in the country and the second biggest investor behind the government, Dragon Capital is first on the list for most overseas investors in Vietnam.

“When we started,” says Dragon Capital founder and chairman Dominic Scriven, “Vietnam's biggest export was scrap metal, and exports were 2 billion USD. After years in between where it emerged as one of the biggest agricultural exporters – of rice, of cashew nuts, of cinnamon, and several others – this year exports will be close on 300 billion USD and the biggest chunk of exports will be electronics and smartphones.”

“And what's guides that is a political system, political philosophy and a social structure that all combined to underlie consistency and stability,” he was cited by the article as saying.

While Vietnam’s equity market is now turning over a healthy amount per day, Scriven pointed out that the market remains relatively immature and the Vietnamese economy still offers considerable catch-up opportunities with other local rivals.

He said around 95 percent of the Vietnamese daily stock market volume is private investors not institutions.

Ebullient is putting it modestly, with economic growth averaging 7 percent for the past six years and expected to remain one of the world’s fastest growing countries.

Dragon is perhaps best known to UK investors as manager of the FTSE 250-listed Vietnam Enterprise Investments Ltd (LON:VEIL) investment trust, but also runs an open-ended UCITS fund.

With assets under management totalling around 5.5 billion USD, of which the VEIL trust is approximately 40 percent and the ETFs just under 20 percent, the firm is one of the biggest players in South-East Asia./.

Ministry of Finance tops 2020 open budget index rankings

With 66.63 points, the Ministry of Finance tops the 2020 Ministry Open Budget Index (MOBI), followed by the Ministry of Justice with 48.41 points.

The information was announced by Nguyen Quang Thuong, Deputy Director of the Centre for Development and Integration (CDI) at a ceremony to announce Vietnam’s 2020 MOBI on June 16. The index was commissioned by the CDI and the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research with funding provided by Oxfarm in Vietnam.

Thuong said the 2020 MOBI results showed that the level of budget disclosure of ministries and agencies at the central level has not improved remarkably compared to last year.

There are still many agencies that have not yet disclosed or fully disclosed as required under the provisions of the 2015 State Budget Law and the MoF’s Circular 61/2017/TT-BTC and Circular 90/2018/TT- BTC, he said.

The 2020 MOBI average point is 21.64, equals to that of 2019 MOBI.

Regarding availability, there are 27 agencies and organisations out of 44 surveyed agencies that have publicly disclosed at least one budget document (accounting for 61.36 percent), an increase of three units compared to the 2019’s survey.

However, there are still 17 ministries and central agencies that did not publicise any documents at the time of the survey, equivalent to 38.64 percent.

The MOBI 2020 survey results showed that they have not promptly disclosed budget documents as required. Of the 19 units that have published documents on the 2021 budget estimate, only six have announced it on time - within 15 days from December 31, 2020.

MOBI index aims to assess the openness and transparency of the State budget and the execution of the 2015 State Budget Law, thereby, bolstering trust of the public and development partners in the field in Vietnam, Thuong said.

2020 is the third year in a row that the MOBI index has been announced.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, Director of the Vietnam Center for Economic and Strategic Studies (VESS) said: While the level of publicity and transparency of the provinces has continuously improved (through assessment by POBI index annually), the central agencies have not made any significant progress, even though the 2015 State Budget Law has long been in effect.

“It is disappointed because central agencies have failed to set an example of building a rule-governed state and at the same time show a lack of accountability to the people,” he said.

Thanh said that it is time for the National Assembly to promote its supervisory role in promoting the openness and transparency of the public financial system.

He suggested the Government request ministries and central agencies to publicise the budget in line with legal regulations and issue sanctions to handle units that fail to do so.

The State Audit Office of Vietnam should include publicity and transparency on budget documents of ministries and agencies at the central level in its tasks, Thanh said./.

Railway businesses focus on cargo transport to reduce pandemic impacts

Heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) has made great efforts to reduce losses by actively targeting cargo transport instead of just passenger transport.

According to the corporation, due to the impact of the pandemic, revenue from passenger transport in the first five months of this year dropped by 48.6 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

The corporation transported only 1.15 million passengers in the period, down 35.4 percent against the same period in 2020, with revenue of more than 400 billion VND, down 48.6 percent. Especially in May, when the latest outbreak of the pandemic hit Vietnam, there were only 132,300 railway passengers, down 51.6 percent.

On the holiday of April 30 and May 1, VNR said 11,383 tickets worth nearly 4 billion VND were returned. The corporation had to cease the operation of 393 passenger trains last month.

A representative of VNR said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused rail transport businesses to struggle and many workers in the industry had lost their jobs. VNR alone had to temporarily suspend 1,169 workers.

VNR’s two largest transport subsidiaries – Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company and Saigon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company – estimated losses of nearly 193 billion VND and more than 227 billion VND, respectively, the representative said.

The main cause of the loss is due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as people have limited their travel, causing the number of passengers to drop.

Heavily pandemic-affected cities and provinces such as Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hanoi and HCM City have implemented social distancing measures according to Directives 15 and 16 of the Prime Minister.

Many cities and provinces have restricted the pick-up and drop-off of passengers from pandemic-affected localities, and people returning from pandemic areas must be isolated for 14-21 days.

Nguyen Chinh Nam, head of VNR’s Business Planning Department, said to minimise difficulties, VNR had focused on transport cargo instead of just passenger transport as previously. Until now, the growth of freight transport has helped VNR to compensate partly for the loss.

Specifically, VNR’s cargo transport volume reached 2.42 million tonnes in the first five months of the year, up 26.9 percent over the same period last year. Revenue from the transport segment reached 713.5 billion VND, up 21.8 percent over the same period of 2020.

Besides actively seeking new cargo transport orders in the domestic market, VNR was continually implementing strict measures on pandemic prevention and control to maintain international freight trains as well as clearing bottlenecks in border policies with Chinese partners to boost transport on the route.

In addition, VNR’s subsidiary – Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company – was also promoting freight transport through developing warehouse-to-warehouse and door-to-door transport services of goods and luggage through online ordering./.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 18

Container goods via seaports up 22 percent in H1

Container goods shipped via Vietnam’s seaports still maintained growth in the first half of this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA).

Specifically, the total volume of goods via seaports reached nearly 363 million tonnes in the first six months, up 7 percent annually. In particular, the volume of container cargo grew by 22 percent year-on-year to more than 12.4 million TEUs.

Container cargo for export was almost 4 million TEUs, up 17 percent, while the imported container cargo surged by 26 percent to over 4.1 million TEUs.

Domestic container cargo reached more than 4.3 million TEUs, marking a 24 percent hike.

Statistics by the VMA showed that in the beginning months of this year, several seaports saw high increases in the volume of container goods such as My Tho, up 74 percent; An Giang, up 50 percent; Ho Chi Minh City, over 17 percent; and Ba Ria – Vung Tau 38 percent.

Others reported decreases such as Quang Ninh down 97 percent, Thanh Hoa 60 percent, Can Tho and Binh Thuan 10 percent each./.

ACV asks to borrow US dollars for Long Thanh airport project

The State-run Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) has said it wants to borrow US dollars from local banks for the country's largest airport project, Long Thanh International Airport in southern Dong Nai province.

The State-run Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) has said it wants to borrow US dollars from local banks for the country's largest airport project, Long Thanh International Airport in southern Dong Nai province.

ACV Chairman Lai Xuan Thanh sent a report to the Economic Committee of the National Assembly, asking them to support the plan of borrowing and paying in US dollars in order to maximise benefits and efficiency.

Thanh said as the interest rate in the foreign currency was lower than the Vietnamese dong, it would help the firm to save on costs.

According to the ACV’s leader, phase one of the investment project, estimated to cost about 2.5 billion USD, was being focused on, but the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on economies around the world and in particular the aviation industry.

As all international commercial flights were stopped in Vietnam, it affected the ACV's main source of foreign currency revenue, while the outbreaks in some localities also significantly reduced domestic passenger volume.

Thanh also said the pandemic has made it difficult to negotiate and sign contracts with partner companies as foreign experts had to undergo quarantine.

Moreover, the ACV representative said, the soaring price of raw materials, especially steel prices, was causing difficulties for the project’s implementation.

To deal with all the factors, the ACV proposed the Prime Minister to allow it to accumulate money from production and business activities for investment.

The firm also proposed the PM consider and approve the plan to allow the ACV to borrow from domestic state-owned banks in USD and pay in USD to save on interest.

The ACV's representative said: “The lending interest rate in USD is always significantly lower than that in VND, while the ACV has direct and indirect USD revenue from business activities in international airports such as NoI Bai, Tan Son Nhat and Phu Quoc to pay interest on foreign currency loans.”

Thanh said: “At present, domestic state-owned banks that have a surplus of USD need to find reliable lending partners and bring higher interest rates than deposit rates at foreign banks,” adding such a lending option could ensure benefits for the State and improve project efficiency while preserving and developing state capital in the ACV as a state-owned enterprise.

 

Also to ensure the progress of the Long Thanh Airport project in the context of the pandemic, the ACV suggested the National Assembly direct the relevant authorities to soon apply measures to stabilise the price of materials as well as support the plan of borrowing and paying in USD to ensure maximum efficiency.

In April this year, the ACV, which is the investor of the expensive and ambitious transport hub project in the southern province of Dong Nai, committed to start construction of the Long Thanh International Airport’s passenger terminal early next year.

As the Long Thanh International Airport is one of the breakthrough projects of the national transport sector in the 2021-2025 period, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan urged all parties to coordinate and facilitate the progress of all components of the project and disburse the allocated State capital.

According to the ACV, the Long Thanh International Airport will be built in three phases over three decades. In the first phase, one runway with a length of 4,000m, taxiways, an apron, and a passenger terminal with other auxiliary works sprawling 373,000sq.m will be built to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo each year.

The airport, which was expected to cost 336.63 trillion VND (14.5 billion USD), is designed to have four runways, four passenger terminals, and other auxiliary facilities to ensure a capacity of 100 million passengers and 5 million tonnes of cargo a year by 2040./.

Seminar discusses Vietnam-Venezuela B2B trade

A webinar on boosting business-to-business (B2B) transactions between Vietnam and Venezuela took place on June 16 in a bid to deepen the bilateral ties toward effectiveness.

The Embassy of Vietnam in Venezuela together with the Venezuela-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (CAVENVIET) co-organised the event.

In his opening speech, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Viet Duyen thanked Vietnam’s Thai Binh Investment Trading Corporation and Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro) for their collaboration with the embassy in offering information about Vietnamese exports as well as supporting and attending its virtual workshops.

A Vietnamese – Venezuela trade is changing positively, increasing exchanges of information and trade opportunities between their businesses are important to fostering the nation’s comprehensive partnership.

Representatives from the two companies said through CAVENVIET, they want to connect with Venezuelan partners; fuel the export of farm produce, home products, consumer goods, and electronic devices; and help Venezuelan firms enter the Vietnamese market of nearly 100 million people.

CAVENVIET President Oswaldo Hernandez pledged his commitment to translating the Vietnamese side’s proposals into reality in contribution to diversifying trade and promoting economic relations between the countries./. 

VietQR launched to promote digital transformation in banking sector

Viet Nam National Payment Corporation (NAPAS) and 14 banks on Tuesday officially announced VietQR brand identity and Napas247 Quick Money Transfer Service by QR code.

Accordingly, VietQR is a common brand identity for QR code payment and transfer services processed through the network of NAPAS and member banks, payment intermediaries and partners both inside and outside the country. VietQR complies with EMV Co's QR payment standard and those set by the State Bank of Viet Nam for QR codes.

Speaking at the launching ceremony which took place online, Nguyen Dang Hung, NAPAS’s deputy general director said: “VietQR aims to create a common standard, ensure the interoperability and synchronisation of payment infrastructure via QR Code in Viet Nam, which is the basis for expanding international payment links.”

This has been one of the key tasks of the banking sector in its digital transformation plan to 2025 with a vision to 2030 to promote non-cash payment and national financial inclusion.

The Napas247 Quick Money Transfer Service allows customers to transfer money from their account to another at other banks in the NAPAS network 24 hours a day, with a maximum of VND500 million (US$21,800) by scanning their personal QR code.

The payment QR code of each individual has encrypted payment information including account number, bank code, amount, payment content, order information and other relevant information.

Recipients can easily get a personal QR code once they have a bank account by creating a QR code on the mobile banking app of the first 14 participating banks, accounting for 70 per cent of transactions Napas247 Quick Transfer or created on VietQR.net website.

Vu Thanh Trung, Director of Digital Banking at MBBank – one of 14 participating banks – said MB has been a pioneer in implementing Napas247 by QR code. This aims to bring new experiences and minimise risks for customers.

“MB targets to serve all customers segments from individuals to businesses, especially shop owners who have not used technology regularly and often use cash. After registering the bank account on MBBank app, customers could easily create their own VietQR code. The bank has offered free money transfer fee for customers using MBBank app,” he added.

The launch would help promote the digital transformation process and non-cash payment of people who still prefer traditional payment methods.

Hoa Phat expected to gain more than $445 million in Q2: VDSC

In a recent report, Viet Dragon Securities Corporation (VDSC) said that hot rolled coil (HRC) plays an important role in Hoa Phat Group (HPG)’s business activities as the steel producer is benefiting from higher HRC prices and strong demand from galvanised steel exporters.

VDSC forecasts the company’s profit after tax will be about VND10.2 trillion (US$445.4 million) in the second quarter of this year, and fall to VND8.9 trillion (US$388.7 million) in the third quarter.

On the Shanghai Futures exchange, the HRC for August delivery was quoted at yuan 5,514 per tonne (US$861.38 per tonne) on Tuesday.

VDSC believes that Hoa Phat will not face any difficulties in consuming all output despite the selling price tending to be higher than that of some Chinese factories.

This is due to strong demand for HRC from domestic exporters of coated steel sheets. Steel companies are receiving large orders from the EU and North American markets, which have banned China's HRC. To meet the origin requirements of the base steel, domestic manufacturers of coated steel sheets mainly use HRC from HPG, Formosa, or India.

Currently, India's HRC supply is weakened due to the pandemic, causing higher export prices. As a result, domestic galvanised steel sheet manufacturers are short of cheap imports to meet the demand from the export market, allowing Hoa Phat to maintain production capacity and high selling prices.

VDSC expects Hoa Phat to sell about 690,000 tonnes of HRC (both internal and external) in the third quarter, up about 4 per cent compared to same period last year. However, the gross profit margin of the construction steel segment may decrease due to weak demand and increased production costs.

Construction steel sales declined in May to 320,000 tonnes after a surge in March and April. Of which, the proportion of export volume rose from 17 per cent in the first four months of 2021 to 21.6 per cent in May.

Besides large inventories of retailers, rising selling prices and relatively weak domestic demand were the main reasons that the company could not maintain high sales as it did in March and April.

Hoa Phat can reduce the selling price of construction steel in the coming months to maintain sales, leading to a decrease in gross margin in the second half of the year, VDSC added.

Due to the upcoming rainy season, steel demand from construction activities in the third quarter is likely to be weaker than in the second quarter. Thus, the company has started to reduce selling prices by VND500 - 800 per kilo from the beginning of June to boost sales.

Currently, the cost of electric furnace manufacturers is still higher than that of Hoa Phat. The company can gain more market share by reducing selling prices, the securities firm said.

On the stock market, HPG shares, which are listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), closed yesterday's trade at VND53,200 per share. 

SHS Securities plans to issue nearly 104 million shares for existing shareholders

Saigon - Hanoi Securites JSC (SHS) will submit a fundraising plan to shareholders at its general meeting, scheduled for June 16.

Accordingly, the securities firms plans to issue 103.6 million shares for existing shareholders with a rate of 10 per cent, meaning a shareholder who owns two shares can buy one more. With the selling price expecting at VND13,500 per share, the company can earn nearly VND1.4 trillion (US$61 million).

SHS Securities will spend 40 per cent of the amount for margin loans, 40 per cent for bonds, valuable papers investments, and the rest for investment.

The company also plans to issue 10.36 million common stocks from the owner's equity with a rate of 5 per cent, meaning a shareholder with 100 shares will receive five new ones.

At the par value, SHS is expected to earn VND104 billion ($4.5 million) after issuing new stocks. This amount will be spent for business activities.

Regarding issuing the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), SHS Securities will issue 4 million units, or 1.93 per cent of the company's outstanding shares.

Issuing price is estimated at VND12,000 per share. These ESOP shares are restricted from being transferred for one year.

Currently, SHS securities' charter capital is nearly VND2.1 trillion ($90.4 million). If all three issuances are successful, the company's charter capital is expected to rise to more than VND3.25 trillion ($141.7 million).

Last year, the firm's revenue increased 61.5 per cent year-on-year to over VND1.8 trillion ($78.9 million), leading to a gain of nearly 195 per cent in profit after tax to more than VND754.3 billion ($33 million).

In 2021, it set a target of earning nearly VND1.9 trillion ($82.3 million) in revenue, up 4.3 per cent over last year, but lowered its profit before tax to VND751.2 billion ($32.8 million).

On the stock market, SHS shares ended Wednesday at VND41,500 per share, down 3.94 per cent. The company shares jumped 62.2 per cent since the beginning of the year.

New trading system ready to run in July: FPT

FPT Corporation said the new stock trading system will be ready by July.

The system is part of a cooperation agreement between the tech giant and the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE).

The transition of this system is expected to be tested in the last three weeks of this month.

The system's capacity is 3 - 5 million transactions a day, at least three times higher than the existing one. It also has a mechanism to allocate orders to securities firms to avoid congestion.

FPT has built the system with a 100-day plan, divided into five phases, including surveys and development. HoSE then checks and tests the system at 24 leading securities companies and opens large-scale testing to 73 members of the market.

At the moment, FPT is in the large-scale testing phase. The new system can handle more than 80 per cent of technical scenarios, as well as other situations.

FPT Information System (FPT IS) is assigned to operate this system for a year while waiting for the Korean Stock Exchange (KRX) to complete the new system. After that, FPT IS will continue to advise HoSE to operate the new system smoothly, without being dependent on foreign technology.

The tech company started building an alternative order matching system at the beginning of March, when the congestion issue on HOSE occurred for three months. 

Value Reporting Foundation launched to simplify global firms’ reporting

The International Integrated Reporting Council and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board have merged to become the Value Reporting Foundation, marking a significant step towards simplifying the global corporate reporting system.

The foundation will be a global non-profit offering a comprehensive suite of resources that helps businesses and investors develop a shared understanding of enterprise value and how it is created, preserved or eroded over time.

The resources, including integrated thinking principles, an integrated reporting framework and SASB standards, can be used alone or in combination, depending on business needs.

These tools, already adopted in over 70 markets, comprise the 21st century market infrastructure needed to develop, manage and communicate strategy that creates long-term value and drives improved performance.

The merger is considered a vital development in the future of global corporate reporting.

Talking about it, Helen Brand, chief executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and co-vice chair of The Value Reporting Foundation Board, said: “Business and investors need a clear, consistent and comprehensive view of what enterprise value means in the modern world. An integrated approach is necessary for corporate reporting, and this is what the Value Reporting Foundation will help organisations deliver.

“This is essential as investors and other stakeholders demand more decision-critical information such as the need for environmental and social related disclosures and measurements, and how they drive corporate strategies. The Value Reporting Foundation will work to offer technical and practical guidance that will not only bring about better decision making within organisations, but help preparers write meaningful integrated reports that meet stakeholders’ needs.

Guidebook on digital transformation for businesses published

A book about digital transformation was published on Monday to provide knowledge, a roadmap and digital transformation technology solutions for Vietnamese businesses.

The guidebook was developed by experts from the programme to support businesses in digital transformation for the period 2021-25 of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in collaboration with the USAID LinkSME Project.

The digital transformation roadmap for small and medium-sized enterprises in Viet Nam recommends going through stages including a preparation phase and three stages to make the gradual transition from “doing digital” to “being digital”.

These stages are relative, depending on the status, goals and potential of each enterprise.

The stages include defining goals and strategies, followed by the digital transformation of business models, the digital transformation of management models, and connecting business, management and innovation to create new products and services.

The book summarises the map of technology solutions, evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the solutions and compares the readiness of domestic solutions with international solutions on the Vietnamese market.

The programme to support businesses in digital transformation in 2021-2025 is chaired by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and co-ordinated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The programme aims to enhance awareness of digital transformation for all businesses by 2025 and have at least 100,000 enterprises receive technical support on digital transformation.

It also targets at least 100 businesses becoming successful digital transformation models to spread and replicate.

The programme will also establish a network of experts including at least 100 organisations and individuals to consult, provide solutions to promote digital transformation for businesses and support the development of digital platforms.

Digital transformation technology solutions for businesses can be found at ebook.business.gov.vn. 

VN tourism industry told to promote digital transformation to recover

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the economy, hitting tourism particularly hard, and the sector needs to accelerate digital transformation to manage the business and reach customers, experts said.

Traditional management and business methods have proven ineffective during the pandemic, requiring them to immediately embrace digital transformation.

Tran Trong Kien, chairman and CEO of Thien Minh Group, one of Viet Nam's leading travel and hospitality companies, said COVID has forced it on the tourism industry to change itself.

Viet Nam has nearly 44 million smartphone users, more than 67 million internet users, 66 million social media users, and 145 million mobile subscribers.

The Government has approved a national digital transformation programme from now through 2025 at the end of which it expects Viet Nam to become one of the 50 leading countries in information technology and the digital economy to account for 20 per cent of GDP.

These provide a premise for promoting digital transformation in all industries, especially hospitality and tourism.

Digital transformation is seen as one of the solutions to help the tourism sector overcome the slump caused by the epidemic.

Vu The Binh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Tourism Association, said through digital transformation tour companies could reach more prospective travellers, provide better care to customers, reduce costs, and increase their business efficiency.

It is an inevitable trend for businesses to improve their competitiveness, he added.

With Gotadi, a flight and hotel booking app belonging to HG Holdings Group, a market leader in hospitality, is considered a successful example of digital transformation.

Hahalolo, an integrated tourism website based on a social network that introduces its services to tour providers and tourism enterprises, has been up for one year with more than six million users now.

It seeks to change Vietnamese travellers’ habits to exclusively booking tours and tickets online. 

Key industrial sectors up and running amid COVID-19 threats

There have been a number of positive signs for local industrial production during the opening five months of the year, mostly coming from the domestic processing and manufacturing sectors.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) show the industrial production index for May saw an increase of 1.6% compared to the previous month and an 11.6% climb against the same period from last year. This exhibits a positive sign of the national economy in the context that the latest COVID-19 outbreak has spread to dozens of cities and provinces, especially to industrial parks in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces.

The MoIT says five-month industrial production witnessed an annual rise of 9.9%, of which the processing and manufacturing sectors enjoyed a boost of 12.6%.

Despite these positive signals, the local manufacturing and processing sectors have faced a number of risks, including a rise in raw material costs, alongside the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Pham Tuan Anh, deputy director of the Industry Agency under the MoIT, says the Ministry is fully focused on initiating major solutions aimed at creating higher added value for the processing and manufacturing industries.

The MoIT will co-ordinate alongside relevant ministries in order to formulate policies specifically for the development of a number of priority industries, such as the automobile, textile and garment, leather and footwear industry, electronics, minerals, and supporting industries, says Anh.

The main priority will be given to restructuring supply chain linkages in order to develop the industrial sector in a sustainable manner and to avoid reliance on some markets, he notes.

In addition, according to the official, localities nationwide should invest in industrial projects, especially those relating to the processing and manufacturing industries.

HCM City takes lead for seafood exports over five months

Ho Chi Minh City leads the way for aquatic exports over the opening five months of the year with turnover reaching US$356.5 million, making up approximately 11% of the country’s total seafood exports.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam raked in roughly US$3.3 billion from exporting aquatic products, representing a rise of 14% compared to the same period from last year.

High-export turnover has been recorded in numerous Mekong Delta provinces due to their abundant sources of raw materials.

VASEP data show a total of 13 Mekong Delta provinces grossed nearly US$2 billion, accounting for 60% of the country’s total, while six provinces in the southeast region earned US$602 million, making up 18%.

At present, Ho Chi Minh City is leading in terms of national seafood exports with US$356.5 million, followed by Soc Trang with US$346.5 million, and Ca Mau with US$315.2 million.

Dong Thap topped the list of pangasius exporters, earning US$271 million, or 8% of the national exports.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 17

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 17

Disbursement of public investment slow in January – May

 
 

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