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Despite COVID-19, industrial production index up



According to the General Statistic Office, in the first 5 months of this year, the industrial production index of Vietnam increased over the same period in 2020 despite the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It reported that in May, the country’s industrial production saw an increase of 1.6 percent compared to that in April and 11.6 percent over the same period in 2020 despite the adverse impact of the pandemic, especially in IPs in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh.

Generally, in the first 5 months of 2021, industrial production increased by 9.9 percent over the same period last year; in which the processing and manufacturing industry increased by 12.6 percent, electricity production and distribution 8.3 percent.

Marked hikes were recorded in such major industries as metal production (38 percent), motorised vehicle production (35 percent), and rattan processing (18.3 percent).

Meanwhile, some industries recorded a decrease including crude oil and natural gas exploitation (11.5 percent); and print, copy records of all kinds (5.1 percent)./.

HCM City foreign remittances rise by 13%

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak roiling the global economy, overseas remittances to HCM City were worth US$2.6 billion in the first five months of this year.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Viet Nam’s HCM City branch, said the figure represented a 13 per cent increase year-on-year.

“This is a good figure at a time when the Covid-19 epidemic has seriously affected the global economy.”

The remittances are invested mainly in manufacturing and other businesses, with around 20 per cent going into real estate, he said.

Analysts expect a total of US$ 6.5 billion for this year.

For many years HCM City has seen remittances constantly increase.

Some two million people from HCM City live abroad, and last year they sent home US$6.1 billion, up 15 per cent from 2019.

The total remittances coming to Viet Nam last year were worth US$17.2 billion, making it the third largest recipient in the East Asia and Pacific, according to the Migration and Development Brief released last month by the World Bank and the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development

In the last five years remittances to Viet Nam have grown at an average of 6 per cent a year. 

Vietnamese rice exports enjoy second quarter boost

By recording high export prices coupled with a consistent increase in orders, Vietnamese rice exports are projected to continue witnessing an upward trajectory during the second quarter against the previous quarter, according to industry insiders.

Despite facing fierce competition, the export price of local rice in the international market remained at a high level throughout the weekend, according to data released by the Vietnam Food Association.

Most notably, the export price of the Vietnamese 5% broken white rice ranged between US$488 and US$492 per tonne.

Meanwhile, the export price of 5% broken rice coming from India, Pakistan, and Thailand stood at US$388, US$443, and US$455 per tonne, respectively.

According to information provided by rice traders, the export price of the Vietnamese rice has fallen in comparison to the previous US$500 per tonne mark recorded recently, due to a general decline in global demand.

Moreover, the Vietnamese rice continues to face tough competition in terms of price as some regional peers such as India, Thailand, and Pakistan offer their products at a cheaper price.

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, says the current export price is roughly US$30 - 40 per tonne lower compared to that from the first quarter.

Experts believe that there are bright prospects ahead for rice exports in the second quarter of the year thanks to its high quality along with an increasing number of orders placed by foreign importers.

Nguyen Trung Kien, vice president and general secretary of the Vietnam Food Association, says the supply source of ST25 rice which has been recognized as the best rice in the world will see improvements made over the course of the coming year as part of efforts aimed at meeting the huge demand that exists within the international market.

Banks boost fundraising through bonds

A number of banks have increased bond issuance to attract mid-term and long-term capital, leading to changes in capital mobilisation in the corporate bond market in the second quarter.

Bond issuance of the real estate sector led the bond market in the first quarter of 2021 with a value of nearly VND15.6 billion (US$679.6 million), but this sector fell into second place at the beginning of the second quarter.

The market bulletin compiled by the Vietnam Bond Market Association (VBMA) showed that from early April to May 4, the total value of bond issuance of real estate companies reached more than VND10.94 trillion (US$476.9 million). Meanwhile, total bond issuance of the banking sector was worth VND15.2 trillion (US$662.2 million), surpassing the real estate sector.

The order continued in May when the total value of bonds issued by banks reached VND15.7 trillion (US$638.8 million), accounting for 73 per cent of the total bond issuance, while bond issuance from the real estate sector was worth VND3.62 trillion (US$157.8 million), accounting for 17 per cent. The data was published by Fiingroup, a company that provides financial and business information services.

Recently, VietinBank (CTG) issued 8-year bonds with a value of VND1.5 trillion (US$65.4 million) and 15-year bonds worth VND85 billion (US$3.7 million) with interest rates ranging 6.5 - 6.7 per cent per year.

Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) also just announced the issuance of VND2 trillion (US$87.2 million) of 3-year bonds to two domestic securities companies with an interest rate of 4 per cent/year.

In May, VPBank (VPB) also issued bonds three times, including an issuance of VND500 billion (US$21.8 million) of 3-year bonds.

Previously, VPBank also raised VND4 trillion (US$174.4 million) by issuing 3-year bonds in late April.

“Bonds are now a hot asset in the financial market, attracting many individual and institutional investors because its deposit interest rates are higher than that of savings,” Dr. Nguyen Tri Hieu, senior financial expert, told Bnews.

Bonds issued by banks are assessed to be the safest assets because of their high liquidity. In addition, banks operate under the strict supervision of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV).

Meanwhile, for bonds issued by real estate companies, although the interest rates are 3 - 4 times higher, it will be difficult for investors to control how these bond issuers spend the money.

Thus, Dr Hieu advised investors to be careful with high-interest bonds because the higher the rate of return, the more risks there will be. And investors need to learn carefully about the financial situation of the businesses and the liquidity of the products.

In the second quarter of 2021, experts from SSI Securities Corporation (SSI) said that SBV’s strict control of credit in potentially risky fields such as real estate and securities will increase demand for capital mobilisation through the bond channel of real estate businesses, especially those with limited collateral for loans.

Interest rates of real estate bonds, therefore, may increase and be more attractive than other bonds. But SSI also warned investors to be cautious because the real estate market is quite hot, the number of unsecured bonds or backed by stocks is also rising, which will increase risks for investors.

On the other hand, experts forecast that demand for issuing bonds of commercial banks in 2021 will be higher, especially bonds to increase capital to help banks supplement tier 2 capital (supplementary capital), increase the proportion of medium and long-term capital and improve the capital adequacy ratio (CAR).

Hence, bond interest rates issued by commercial banks are also expected to slightly increase in the second half of 2021 when the competition on deposit interest rates among banks increases to ensure credit growth.

Hanoi to host Vietnam International Supporting Industry & Manufacturing Expo

The second version of the Vietnam International Supporting Industry & Manufacturing Expo (VIMEXPO) is scheduled to get underway from October 27 to October 29 at the Hanoi International Exhibition Centre.

VIMEXPO 2021 is set to feature roughly 300 booths, with the event being part of the Supporting Industry Development Program 2021 as approved by the Prime Minister.

The theme of the expo is "Connect to Develop” and the function will run with the aim of devising feasible solutions which can help to promote the development of supporting industries nationwide.

The occasion will also prove to be an ideal venue in which businesses can come together to share their experiences, introduce cutting-edge products and technologies, expand cross-border co-operation, whilst gaining greater access to the world's leading advanced achievements in the field of the supporting industry.

Le Minh Duc, director of JK Vietnam Joint Stock Company, said the expo will serve to help the company seek new customers whilst simultaneously ramping up co-operation with new partners.

Duong Hong Kien, northern sales representative of Nam Son Co., Ltd, said the participation of various enterprises in the event will ultimately contribute to introducing a variety of solutions and cutting-edge technologies to customers for their future plans.

The three-day event is expected to attract approximately 20,000 visitors.

Moody's raises HDBank's credit rating outlook from stable to positive

Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the B1 long-term local and foreign currency deposit and issuer ratings for the Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank).

It has also changed the outlook on the long-term deposit and issuer ratings of HDBank to positive from stable.

The positive outlook on the ratings of the bank reflects Moody's view that improvements in asset quality over recent years, which could translate into lower credit costs and higher profitability, could raise the banks' baseline credit assessments over the next 12 - 18 months.

Moody's expects profitability to improve over the next 12- 18 months because of higher yields from loans to individuals and small and medium enterprises, and improvements in asset quality, and capital to remain stable because internal capital generation will support asset growth.

Amid the difficulties caused due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which made Moody's lowering the credit ratings of some organisations, HDBank's credit rating was unchanged throughout 2020, underlining its capacity to adapt to new situations to sustain growth and keep implementing its development strategy even in difficult times.

This was once again reflected in its results in the first quarter of 2021 when its consolidated pre-tax profit topped VND2.1 trillion (US$91.1 million), a 68 per cent rise from the same period in 2020.

Its standalone pre-tax profit was over VND1.8 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 88 per cent.

Its return on equity and return on assets were 26.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent.

Its capital adequacy ratio (based on Basel II standards) was over 12 per cent, and asset quality and liquidity remained at high levels.

The ratio of short-term funds the bank used for medium- and long-term loans was 23.4 per cent against a maximum of 40 per cent allowed by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Cost management continued to improve, with its cost-to-income ratio falling to 39.1 per cent from 51 per cent a year earlier.

As it contributes to supporting the economy and walks hand in hand with customers under challenging circumstances, besides ensuring safe and stable business operation, HDBank has also spent tens of billions of dong on community support activities and set aside large sums for preferential credit programmes to help customers overcome the difficulties caused by COVID-19.

Previously, based on positive assessments of Viet Nam's economic growth and its effective control of the epidemic in 2020, and its positive outlook for growth, Moody’s retained the Government’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings at Ba3 and upgraded the outlook to positive from negative.

Viet Nam is the only country in the world for which all three major western credit rating agencies (S&P and Fitch being the others) changed their ratings outlook to positive. 

Shares to reach new heights on cash flow but risks abound

Cash flow will continue to help the stock market rise to new heights, but it is time for investors to focus on risk management, brokerages said.

Shares gained for six consecutive sessions on Friday. On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the VN-Index gained 0.72 per cent, to hit 1,374.05 points.

The southern market index had risen 4.06 per cent last week.

An average of 802.7 million shares were traded on the southern exchange during each session last week, worth VND26.8 trillion (US$1.7 million).

According to SSI Securities Incorporation (SSI), with the current movement, the VN-Index still has the momentum to continue going up towards the 1,400 point area thanks to strong cash flow.

“However, risk management needs to be focused in this period with support levels for VN-Index at 1,350 points and 1,300 points, respectively,” it said.

According to BOS Securities Joint Stock Company (BOS), VN-Index is approaching the resistance level of 1,380 points with a push from cash flow.

“Although technical indicators are still showing signs that the uptrend is maintained, the steep slope of the signal lines shows potential risks and corrections may still happen,” it said.

“VN-Index will challenge the resistance level of 1,380 points at the beginning of this week. Corrections may take place during the index conquering new peaks,” it said.

“VN-Index is forecast to face strong pressure at the resistance zone of 1,350-1,380 points,” said BIDV Securities Co.

“Market movements will continue to see strong differentiation among stocks in the current period,” it said.

“Capital flow is likely to shift to other groups such as real estate, oil and gas, because banking, securities and steel groups are showing signs of cooling down,” it said.

Investors should maintain the proportion of stocks in the portfolio to 50 per cent. Those with a high proportion of stocks in the portfolio should consider selling a part of short term positions.

On Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index declined 0.05 per cent to close Friday at 329.76 points.

The northern market index had risen 6.2 per cent last week.

An average of more than 206 million shares were traded on the HNX during each session last week, worth 4.8 trillion.

According to statistics from Saigon-Hanoi Securities Co (SHS), energy stocks increased the most last week, such as PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), up 11.5 per cent, PV Power (POW), rising 12 per cent, Petroleum Group (PLX), gaining 4.4 per cent, Binh Son Refinery (BSR), climbing 11.5 per cent, The PetroVietnam Drilling & Well Service Corporation (PVD), going up 17.4 per cent, Petrochemical and Bio-Fuel JSC (PVB) rising up 24 per cent, The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (OIL), gaining 26 per cent and PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS) gaining 26.4 per cent.

Banking stocks also performed well, such as Techcombank (TCB), up 3 per cent, Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), rising 3.9 per cent, VPBank (VPB), up 4.5 per cent, Vietcombank (VCB) 5.3 per cent, Vietinbank (CTG) 5.5 per cent, Saigon Hanoi Bank (SHB) 7.6 per cent, Military Bank (MBB) 10.2 per cent and Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) 16.5 per cent.

According to Viet Nam Securities Depository Centre, the number of new accounts opened in May was 114,107, the highest in the market history. This is the third consecutive month that the number of new accounts has reached above 100,000.

Out of 114,107 new accounts, most of them are newly opened accounts of domestic individual investors, up to 113,543 new accounts.

The number of new accounts opened by foreign individual investors also increased sharply, reaching 423 accounts.

The number of new accounts of both domestic and foreign institutions also increased in the past month. Specifically, domestic organisations opened 131 new accounts and foreign organisations opened 10 new accounts, nearly equal to the number of 14,145 new accounts opened in the previous month.

The number of new accounts opened in May remained high, showing the excitement of the domestic stock market.

The average liquidity on HOSE in May reached VND22 trillion, up 19.3 per cent from the previous month.

New COVID-19 outbreak puts a halt to more domestic flights

Given COVID-19 developments, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) has approved the suspension of passenger flights to Con Dao Island and those linking Quang Ninh and Gia Lai provinces with Ho Chi Minh City.

Accordingly, passenger flights to and from Con Dao Island of southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau province will be halted from 5pm on June 5, except for helicopter trips between Vung Tau city and the island.

On June 3, the provincial People’s Committee proposed the MoT, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), and airlines suspend flights to Con Dao, explaining that the island’s healthcare capacity remains modest while Con Dao is located far away from the mainland, which may hamper the delivery of assistance to this place if COVID-19 is detected there.

There are currently many direct flights carrying tourists from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Can Tho, Vinh, and Thanh Hoa to Con Dao, which has a population of 10,000.

Meanwhile, flights connecting the northern province of Quang Ninh and the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai with HCM City have been stopped temporarily since June 5 until further notice.

Earlier, leaders of these provinces also proposed the MoT allow the suspension, saying that recent COVID-19 outbreaks have forced HCM City to impose social distancing across the city in line with the Prime Minister’s Directive 15/CT-TTg and lockdowns on Go Vap district and Thanh Loc ward of District 12 under Directive 16/CT-TTg.

Flights between northern Hai Phong city and HCM City have also been halted.

The MoT requested the CAAV to coordinate with the ministry’s Health Administration of Transport and relevant agencies of the provinces’ People’s Committees to keep a close watch on the pandemic’s developments so as to make timely adjustments to air transport plans./.

Export prices of rice fall, causing anxiety to many enterprises

The export prices of Vietnamese rice are declining due to the pressure from those of Pakistan and India. Currently, the prices of 5-percent broken rice are only US$488-US$492 per ton, down about $25 per ton compared to that in February this year.

The prices of 5-percent broken rice of India and Pakistan in the past week still ranged from $388-$392 to $438-$442 per ton, $40-$100 per ton lower than Vietnamese rice.

On June 1, a rice exporter in the Mekong Delta said that the decrease in export prices of Vietnamese rice also made domestic exporters stressed. Enterprises should offer good prices wisely, rather than rushing to lower them, which would affect the export prices of Vietnamese rice.

The business community reacted strongly to the import of cheap rice from India by some domestic enterprises for re-export. Some enterprises said that this is a way of doing business hand-to-mouth and for short-term profit, which can affect the reputation of the recently established Vietnamese rice brand.

Associate Prof-Dr. Duong Van Chin, Former Deputy Director of the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute, said that the prices of long-grain white rice of India and Pakistan were lower than those of Vietnam because they are rice varieties with high amylose content, so the rice is hard.

Recently, Vietnamese long-grain white rice has a selling price in the global market that is not inferior to Thai and Indian rice in the same segment, thanks to the selective breeding of new rice varieties that have achieved certain results recently.

These rice varieties are extremely diverse, can be grown in many different ecological regions, in many crops in the year, give good quality of rice, and are favored by many importing countries.

According to Associate Prof.-Dr. Duong Van Chin, Vietnam is currently developing a set of internationally recognized standards for the group of long-grain white rice and the group of fragrant white rice. Vietnam should choose 4-5 rice varieties with superiority in terms of cultivation and quality to build the brand and attach the Vietnam Rice logo.

The rice varieties that need attention in this group include OM 5451, OM 6976, and OM 18. For the premium white fragrant rice segment, some rice varieties that have won high prizes in some rice competitions, such as Loc Troi 28 and ST 25, should be chosen to build the brand for this segment.

Online real estate databases is booming in Vietnam

Online real estate databases are booming in Vietnam thanks to growing residential demand. 

During this year’s first half, the Vietnamese real estate market saw the appearance of Nha Home Vietnam, a the newly-established online real estate database. In contrast with other sites, Nha Home Vietnam focuses on offering property data at a low cost.

“For each project, we have a couple of graphics showcasing the correlation between the premises and the prices but also distribution of buildings’ apartment and distribution of apartments’ types,” Julien Godard, CEO and founder of Nha Home Vietnam explained. “As soon as we collect enough data, we will compare projects within a district, a city, and even projects located in different cities.”

To date, the startup has collected data on 1,439 real estate projects with more than 350,000 apartment units across 50 districts and 33 cities.

In addition to Nha Home Vietnam, the local property market has seen many similar platforms appear in recent years, according to the Vietnam Association of Realtors (VAR). The association added that there are more than 200 active real estate databases in the country at the moment.

According to the Ministry of Construction, local residential demand has been consistently high and will continue growing in the next 10 years.

According to data published by India-based Mordor Intelligence, Vietnam has high absorption rate of 70-80 per cent of new supply and surging demand for residential real estate. There are 30,000-40,000 new apartment units available each year. Bigger cities and coastal cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and the capital Hanoi have seen the fastest development which is expected to continue for years to come.

The Philippines-based Global Property Guide also pointed out that in Southeast Asia, Vietnam ranks fifth in gross rental yield at 4.3 per cent, higher than Malaysia (3.72 per cent) and Singapore (2.32 per cent).

The growing potential of the business models has also attracted investors. For example, Cho Tot last year successfully mobilised $80 million investment from South Korea-based Naver Group. Malaysia-based PropertyGuru that operates in 2020 got $220 million capital from the two global leading investment funds TPG and KKR.

According to the Vietnam National Real Estate Association, local online real estate databases and trading platforms are valued at $21 billion and will continue growing.

HoREA calls on firms to bid for 3,790 resettlement apartments

The HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA) has written to firms asking them to attend the auction for 3,790 resettlement apartments in Thu Duc City’s Binh An Ward.

The HCMC government has decided to hold an auction for the resettlement apartments belonging to five apartment buildings in the Thu Thiem new urban area project, according to HoREA.

The apartments are located in prime areas, so if investors win the bidding, the prestige of their brands will be significantly enhanced, said HoREA.

However, HoREA advised the investors to carefully research on and make upgrades and embellishment plans for these resettlement apartments and supplement some amenities and services as the construction quality of these apartments is not as high as that of commercial homes.

The investors should also further research the starting prices and mobilize capital for their investment, the local media reported.

The municipal government had earlier assigned the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment to complete the auction paperwork for the rights to use the 3,790 resettlement apartments prior to June 15. These apartments belong to a program to build 12,500 resettlement homes for the Thu Thiem new urban area that was completed in 2015.

HCMC had earlier held three auctions for the 3,790 resettlement apartments in Thu Thiem, but the auctions were a failure as they saw no buyers.

Mekong Delta call for greater consumption of sweet potatoes to help farmers

The People’s Committee in the Mekong Delta Province of Dong Thap yesterday convened a meeting with related competent agencies upon solutions to consume sweet potatoes to help farmers.

Statistically, by the end of May 2021, Japanese purple sweet potato is grown in 266-ha land in Chau Thanh District with an output of 8,494 tons, mostly in Hoa Tan, Phu Long and Tan Phu communes.

Currently, farmers are facing difficulties in selling the vegetable; they must sell at a low price while traders proposed to buy less than expectation. Farmers have grown the vegetable spontaneously without linkage with supermarkets or businesses, but mainly by traders who will export to China later. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, traders can’t export it.

To support sweet potato farmers, Dong Thap Specialty Cooperative, Dong Thap Entrepreneurs Club in Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City Communist Youth Union, and supermarkets worked together to help farmers.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Dong Thap Province Pham Thien Nghia asked authority in Chau Thanh District, sectors and businesses to join hands in consuming the vegetable. In the long term, the provincial People's Committee recommended that farmers must reorganize production in linkage with businesses which will help improve product quality.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Tan District in Vinh Long Province said that Japanese purple sweet potato has continuously decreased, currently at VND 40,000 per quintal (approximately 60 kg) or about more than VND650 a kilogram.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic impact resulting in difficulties in selling to China, sweet potato prices continuously dropped. Authorities in Vinh Long Province and other provinces have encouraged people to buy the vegetable to help farmers.

Currently, farmers are not harvesting sweet potatoes on a 4,000- hectare field. Farmers have harvested the vegetable of the summer-autumn crop on 3,200 hectares and the winter-spring crop on about 850 hectares.

In Kien Giang, police have bought 20 tons of sweet potatoes to support farmers in Binh Tan District.
In Hau Giang Province, members of the Provincial Women's Union bought more than 11 tons of Japanese purple sweet potatoes at the price of VND3,000 per kilogram to help farmers in Binh Tan District.

Son Van Luan, Director of Thanh Ngoc Agricultural Service Cooperative moaned due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, traders refused to buy the vegetable because it is difficult to export; therefore, the price of the sweet potatoes dropped dramatically; farmers went broke because farmers have averagely spent VND150 million per hectare of sweet potatoes.




Vietnam attends 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Politburo member, Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Tran Tuan Anh attended the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2021 which is being held in Russia in both in-person and online forms.

The Vietnamese official shared Vietnam’s experience in COVID-19 prevention and control at the forum, empemphasing that thanks to the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the drastic and effective management of the Vietnamese Government, and the unity and determination of the entire political system and the people, the country has successfully realised the dual goal of containing the pandemic and maintaining economic development.

Vietnam remains steadfast in its opening policy, actively and proactively integrating into the international economy, Anh stressed.

The country successfully assumed its role as Chair of ASEAN 2020, he said, adding that Vietnam has also promoted multilateral cooperation frameworks, and made important contributions to stabilising global supply chains.

The most typical example is the successful signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, opening up the world's largest free trade area, helping to further improve ASEAN's role and international prestige in the international arena, he noted.

The official called for global cooperation in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing vaccines, strengthening multilateral trade cooperation to avoid disruption in global supply chains, and in eliminating poverty and poverty relapse in the world.

With the theme “Together Again - Economy of New Reality”, the forum focused on a number of groups of issues such as the post-pandemic world, Russia’s development tasks by 2030, global social development issues, digital technology, solutions and opportunities for businesses, and safety of medicine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the plenary session on June 4./.

HDBank to raise charter capital

The Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank) has announced plans to increase its charter capital to more than 20.273 trillion VND (879.48 million USD) by paying dividends for 2020 in shares and an employee stock option plan.

According to information published by the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on June 4, the HDBank board of directors approved the plan to hike the charter capital in 2021 as approved at the bank’s annual general meeting in April.

The bank will increase its charter capital by 3.984 trillion VND (172.83 million USD) by issuing more than 398 million shares as dividends for 2020 at a rate of 25 percent from undistributed profits.

The lender will also issue 20 million shares to employees (ESOP).

The HDB share closed on June 3 at 35,800 VND with a lot of foreign buying.

In the first quarter HDBank reported a pre-tax profit of more than 2.1 trillion VND (91.1 million USD), an increase of 68 percent year-on-year, with income from services up sharply.

Its return on equity and return on assets increased strongly to 26.3 percent and 2.1 percent, its capital adequacy ratio (based on Basel II standards) was over 12 percent while its standalone bad debts ratio was only 1.1 percent.

International credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) recently upgraded HDBank's outlook from "stable" to "positive." The positive outlook reflects Moody's view that improvements in asset quality over recent years, which could translate into lower credit costs and higher profitability, could raise the banks' Baseline Credit Assessments (BCAs) over the next 12 -- 18 months/.

HDBank to raise charter capital

The Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank) has announced plans to increase its charter capital to more than 20.273 trillion VND (879.48 million USD) by paying dividends for 2020 in shares and an employee stock option plan.

According to information published by the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on June 4, the HDBank board of directors approved the plan to hike the charter capital in 2021 as approved at the bank’s annual general meeting in April.

The bank will increase its charter capital by 3.984 trillion VND (172.83 million USD) by issuing more than 398 million shares as dividends for 2020 at a rate of 25 percent from undistributed profits.

The lender will also issue 20 million shares to employees (ESOP).

The HDB share closed on June 3 at 35,800 VND with a lot of foreign buying.

In the first quarter HDBank reported a pre-tax profit of more than 2.1 trillion VND (91.1 million USD), an increase of 68 percent year-on-year, with income from services up sharply.

Its return on equity and return on assets increased strongly to 26.3 percent and 2.1 percent, its capital adequacy ratio (based on Basel II standards) was over 12 percent while its standalone bad debts ratio was only 1.1 percent.

International credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) recently upgraded HDBank's outlook from "stable" to "positive." The positive outlook reflects Moody's view that improvements in asset quality over recent years, which could translate into lower credit costs and higher profitability, could raise the banks' Baseline Credit Assessments (BCAs) over the next 12 -- 18 months/.

Cross-border e-commerce expected to present broader foreign market access

With borders closed and travel restricted since early last year, e-commerce has proved itself to be a game changer, setting the scene for Vietnamese exporters to gain broader access to foreign markets.

Given that Hai Duong’s flagship Thanh Ha lychees are being officially sold on Lazada and Sendo, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is closely coordinating with the provincial People’s Committee and other local agencies to connect lychee growers with around 200 importers from various major markets overseas via virtual platforms, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said.

Cross-border e-commerce not only helps traders boost sales but also helps identify a more flexible, cost-efficient business model to access global supply chains, said Dang Hoang Hai, Director General of the MoIT’s e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (iDEA).

An iDEA survey of more than 800 exporters, 70 percent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), showed that 36 percent of respondent SMEs and 54 percent of large corporations have a website and trade on online marketplaces.

Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Tran Phuong Lan said the capital plans to organise an exclusive event on trading on Amazon for local handicraft products and craft villages shortly, as part of efforts to stimulate cross-border e-commerce.

The department will also hold a number of seminars and training courses for local SMEs on how to register and sell products on online marketplaces, she revealed.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hai said his ministry will continue developing policies to smooth the way for e-commerce and support domestic firms to participate in new supply chains.

It plans to focus more on linking employers and potential job candidates in e-commerce and on providing enterprises with consultation on a proper roadmap for digital transformation, he noted, in a bid to sustainably foster the development of e-commerce./.

Hai Duong exports lychee to Thailand for first time

Ameii Vietnam exported 10 tonnes of fresh lychee to Thailand by sea on June 5, marking the first time the fresh fruit of Vietnam hit the shelves in Thailand.

Representatives of Ameii JSC said having Vietnam’s fresh lychee accepted in Thailand is a huge feat as Thailand is a capital of fresh fruit in the region, and this showed that Vietnamese lychee can compete with other fruits.

Each week, the company hopes to export over 20 tonnes of the summer fruit to supermarkets chain and stores in Thailand.

According to Hai Duong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, by May 31, the province had harvested and marketed about 29,000 tonnes of litchi. Of these, about 15,000 tonnes are exported to China, Laos and Cambodia./.

Textile and footwear exports see robust growth in five months

During the opening five months of the year, Vietnam’s textile-garment, leather and footwear industries enjoyed positive signs in several key export markets.

This vigorous growth can largely be attributed to the gradual recovery occurring in several major markets in the post-novel coronavirus (COVID-19) period, along with opportunities brought about by the enforcement of new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs).

Throughout the reviewed period, the local garment and textile sector’s production index increased by 8.1% on–year, while that of the clothing industry witnessed a rise of 9.1%.

The production index of the domestic leather sector and related products rose by 12% compared to the same period from last year.

The garment-textile industry raked in US$12 billion, a year-on-year rise of 15%, while export turnover of fiber and yarns of all kinds increased by over 60%.

Furthermore, exports of shoes and sandals surged by 26.4% to more than US$8 billion compared to last year’s corresponding period.

Bac Giang Province protects lychee traders with COVID-19 vaccines

At the heart of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Viet Nam, nearly 400 traders and drivers involved in the lychee trade in Luc Ngan District, Bac Giang Province have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The northern province has a total of 28,100ha of lychee with an estimated output of 180,000 tonnes and is also the epicentre of Viet Nam's fourth wave of community COVID-19 cases, with more than 3,000 recorded since late April.

As the fruits are to be harvested this month, Nguyen The Thi, chairman of the district People's Committee said: “We checked the list of drivers and businessmen involved in the trade and given them the priority for being vaccinated."

Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Le Anh Duong told local media trading was going well in the area, saying: “We vaccinated the truck drivers and traders so that they, with vaccine and virus-free certificates, can ship and sell the products nationwide without being stopped for pandemic procedures. “

Chinese trader Kou Zhike said: " I have traded Bac Giang lychees for many years.This year, I was a bit worried due to the complex development of the pandemic. But when I came here I feel secure.

"Today, my Chinese friends and I were vaccinated which makes us feel more secure. I have begun buying lychees and plan to sell 50 trucks of the product this year."

After receiving the vaccine, Huong Thi Lan Anh, member of Luc Ngan Driver Association, told Viet Nam News: “I am so happy with such protection. I must contact a number of people in such a busy season of harvesting the fruits. Without an injection, I would have been worried about potential infection. ”

Le Tuan Anh, head of Luc Ngan District’s economy and infrastructure section, said: “Our goal is to protect all businessmen and drivers trading during the season,” adding: “We encourage those from other localities to register for vaccines.”

As logistics was key for trading the fruits, Tran Quang Tan, director of Bac Giang’s Department of Industry and Trade, mentioned transportation and circulation during the pandemic as a difficulty, and protecting the drivers would be key.

Chairman of the province Duong said: "We are also asking the Prime Minister to create a 'green channel', assigning the province to license the most convenient means of transporting lychee in domestic circulation."

Duong asked other localities and relevant places to create conditions to trade the fruits, especially for exports.

Quality crucial

The efforts aim to ensure the province doesn't need campaigns to ensure its products are consumed, which happened to Hai Duong during the third wave earlier this year.

“Bac Giang says no to 'rescuing' our products as the lychees of the province are of the best quality that could win the hearts of domestic and foreign consumers," Duong told Viet Nam News.

Duong said local lychees have reached 30 countries around the world, entering the most demanding markets of Japan, the US, and Europe.

“Trading local lychees as a rescue product will harm its reputation. We feel thankful for all the buyers of our products and we are now helping consume high-quality lychees," Duong added

By June 3, total lychee consumption reached about 31,366 tonnes, with domestic consumption at more than 20,430 tonnes or 65 per cent and exports to the US and Japan at 10,936 tonnes.

On the local market, the average selling price for lychees ranges from VND13,000 to VND33,000 per kg.

Together with the US and Japan, Duong calculated 1,000 tonnes was exported to China every day.

He said they prepared different scenarios for consuming the fruits, with the best-case scenario being a 50-50 split between the domestic and export markets. If the pandemic was not well controlled, the ratio could be 70:30 or 90:10.

The chairman said it was also working with trade centres, supermarkets and fruit agents to sell the province’s lychees, adding they have signed agreements for the distribution of lychees in retail chains like Central Retail, MM Mega Market Vietnam, Vinmart & Vinmart+, Aeon, Lotte and Sai Gon Coop.

Going digital

Farmer Do Thi Van yesterday started the first livestream of her life to sell lychees from her garden via Senlive, the livestream platform of local e-commerce firm Sendo.

Viewers can order lychees grown to VietGAP standards at VND16,000 (US$60 cent) per kilo.

Together with a number of lychee growers in Lien Viet Co-operative, Ly Son Commune in the district, Van with the help of Sendo took a tour around her fruit garden to introduce the fruits to viewers nationwide.

Chairman of e-commerce site Sendo Dac Viet Dung told Viet Nam News: "During the complicated situation of COVID-19, we would like to help farmers approach a new way of selling their products. The skill of livestreaming will definitely help them in the future and create a more secure future for farming."

The E-commerce and Digital Economy Department, from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, has worked with six major e-commerce platforms in Viet Nam including Sendo (FPT), Voso (Viettel Post), Tiki-BigC/GO, Shopee, Lazada and Postmart (VnPost) to organise the sale of Bac Giang lychees.

A 'Bac Giang Province Lychee Festival' will be held tomorrow between Lazada and FoodMap, an e-commerce platform linking farmers with small- and medium-sized producers and consumers. The two said they were currently preparing the final logistic plan to simultaneously open for sale on Lazada from tomorrow.

VN firms get opportunity to increase influence on global supply chains

The disruption of the global supply chain has caused many foreign businesses to source goods from Vietnamese enterprises, which has increased export opportunities for the country.

The difficult situation caused by the pandemic in the EU, the US and many other parts of the world is expected to worsen the disruption in the global supply chains of raw materials for production.

However, the pandemic is also creating new business models, bringing opportunities for the establishment of new value chains as Viet Nam attracts a wave of investments shifting from other countries.

According to the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, since April requests to it from foreign enterprises to find sources of supply in Viet Nam have increased sharply, with the most orders coming from the US, China, Thailand, and Russia.

It cited the examples of the US Bridgepathway, which wants processed foods and confectionery products, some New York enterprises looking for supply of galvanised steel coil, printed products and souvenirs and Thaiwatsadu Company belonging to the Central Group of Thailand that has been looking for a large volume of construction materials, electrical devices, and household appliances for distribution.

Russian enterprises want gloves used in restaurants, hotels and hospitals from Viet Nam.

Chinese enterprises look for suppliers of semi-processed foods and foodstuffs such as frozen shrimps, tapioca starch, corn starch, and dried cassava chips for making animal feed.

A common feature of their demand is the relatively large volume and long term of contracts.

So Vietnamese enterprises should be capable of large scale and rapid supply, and must have modern production technologies and meet the quality standards demanded.

In addition to meeting the many criteria in terms of quality and prices, enterprises must also meet corporate social responsibility and on-time delivery requirements.

To grab the opportunities arising from the wave of investments, the Government needs to offer unencumbered lands in industrial and economic zones along with attractive land policies and good infrastructure, according to experts.

Viet Nam also needs to improve its investment climate and quality of human resources to meet investors’ requirements.

A 10-70 per cent rise in the prices of raw materials this year has also caused many manufacturers to struggle.

Nguyen Quoc Anh, director of the Duc Minh Rubber Company Limited and chairman of the HCM City Rubber and Plastic Association, said in the past few months rubber prices have climbed by 60 per cent, and businesses are planning to hike product prices by 5-10 per cent, but if the cost rises continue for the next two months, 25-30 per cent hikes are likely.

Many enterprises are working to cut costs and renegotiate contracts. Some are hesitant to finalise prices for next year’s orders.

However, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the major increase in prices is merely due to a cyclical upturn in the commodities market. 

Manufacturing sustained in HCM City despite social distancing

Industrial production in HCM City has not been affected since a two-week social distancing period began on May 31 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Go Vap District and Thanh Loc Ward in District 12, which had reported the highest number of cases, are under stricter social distancing measures with the Government’s Directive 16 in force than the rest of the city.

Binh Hoa Garment Co. Ltd. in Go Vap remains open despite difficulties in transporting materials and products in and out of the district.

Phan Thanh Tuan, deputy director of the company, told the Vietnam News Agency that most of its workers reside in Go Vap, where medical checkpoints have been set up to monitor people entering and exiting.

The company had to contact local authorities to get entry permits for more than 10 workers living outside the district, he said.

Since transport of input materials to the factory and finished products in the opposite direction is not allowed through the checkpoints, three-wheel vehicles are used between then and the factory, he said.

Pham Luu Duc, chairman of the District 12 Enterprises Association, said manufacturing companies are struggling to maintain operation with declining orders and problems facing goods delivery due to travel restrictions.

Manufacturers of consumer products keep production going to retain their buyers and strategic partners, he said.

Companies have adopted safety measures to protect their workers, including physical distancing, use of face covering and working in shifts.

But some companies in Thanh Loc Ward have suspended operations since workers quit jobs due to health concerns and quarantine orders, Duc said.

The HCM City Union of Business Associations said if the social distancing period is extended, manufacturers could find it hard to sustain production because of the difficulty in the transport of raw materials.

Thanh Cong Textile Garment Investment Trading JSC has its 7,500-odd workers now working in two work shifts between 5am and 10 pm instead of the earlier single shift from 8am to 5 pm.

Tran Nhu Tung, its chairman, said it has to incur higher costs than normal to keep operating and take safety measures.

Special mechanism needed for expressway construction in localities: expert

Special encouragement policies and mechanisms are needed for expressway construction to help localities in disadvantaged and mountainous areas secure investment, an expert has said.

Tran Chung, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Road Traffic Construction Investors (VARSI) told Kinh te & Do thi (Economics & Urban Areas) newspaper that the Government’s policy of decentralising power to localities to build expressways was proper and suitable.

Under the Government’s targets on expressway construction, the construction of nearly 5,000 kilometres of expressway must be completed by 2030.

In the past 20 years, only 1,200 kilometres of expressway have been built, meaning 3,800 kilometres of expressway must be completed in the next 10 years to meet the targets.

Meanwhile, the State budget can only fulfil part of the financial needs, so localities will have to mobilise resources to build projects under the model of public-private partnership (PPP).

Chung said expressway construction would bring economic and social benefits for localities and decentralisation to give them more control would enhance the construction process.

“The sooner the expressway is built, the more the locality will benefit from it,” he said.

Chung said there should be a policy or mechanism for expressway construction, otherwise many localities would hesitate to implement projects.

Bui Van Khanh, chairman of Hoa Binh Province’s People’s Committee, said Hoa Binh was a mountainous area with a limited traffic system.

As a result, it would be difficult to attract investment in costly expressway projects.

“Cities and provinces in the delta have favourable traffic conditions with a large number of vehicles, so it will be easier to mobilise financial sources to build expressways. There should be a special policy for the northwest region,” he said.

Chairman of Cao Bang Province’s People’s Committee Hoang Xuan Anh agreed, saying construction projects could only be successfully implemented with great financial support from the State.

He cited Dong Dang - Tra Linh Expressway as an example. Apart from financial support, the project was technically supported by experts from the Ministry of Transport.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the ministry to collect opinions from ministries and sectors and report the plan to the Government soon.

Electricity price reductions estimated at more than VND1.5 trillion to support customers during the pandemic

Reductions in electricity prices from June to the end of this year to support customers to overcome the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are estimated to total VND1.57 trillion (US$67.67 million), according to the Viet Nam Electricity (EVN).

On June 2 ,the Government issued Resolution No 55/NQ-CP to reduce electricity prices in response to the EVN”s proposal to support those heavily affected by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, including hotels as well as medical and isolation centres.

Facilities which were used for isolation, and examinations related to COVID-19, would enjoy 100 per cent reduction, while 20 per cent reductions would be provided for medical facilities which were used to test and treat COVID-19 patients, which was estimated to total VND100 billion.

Tourist accommodation facilities would enjoy retail electricity prices equal to those applied for production and was estimated to total VND1.47 trillion.

The reductions would be applied in seven months, for power bills from June to December this year.

This was the third reduction in electricity prices after two similar discounts offered last year.

The first ran from April 16, 2020 to July 17, 2020 and supported more than 27 million customers with the total reduction totalling around VND9.3 trillion.

The second was from October to December 2020 with more than 25.4 million customers enjoying the reductions worth VND3 trillion.

At the Government press conference on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that any adjustments in electricity prices would be considered carefully to prevent any possible impacts on production and business as well as lives of residents while ensuring stable macroeconomy.

Adjustments in retail electricity prices were studied from 2018 and the Ministry proposed the adjustments to the Government at the most suitable point of time this year to limit its impacts, Hai said, adding that electricity prices were a sensitive issue and being studied carefully. 

Mid-cap stocks in these five sectors will attract investment flows in June: VNDIRECT

In the recent monthly outlook report for June, VNDIRECT Securities Corporation (VND) said that besides large-cap stocks, some mid-cap stocks from steel, real estate, financial services, textile and seafood industries will attract cash flows this month.

In May, the market benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) continued its rally despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in late April.

On May 31, the index closed at 1,328.05 points, up more than 18.5 per cent compared to the beginning of the year.

However, stocks witnessed strong divisions with 47 per cent of stocks listed in three exchanges falling in May.

The market’s gain was mainly driven by large-cap stocks, especially bank stocks. Of which, Vietinbank (CTG) contributed the most to the market’s gain in May.

In the report, VNDIRECT estimated that profits of listed companies grew up to 89.9 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.

The market's net profit during the period jumped 41.6 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic level, or the first quarter of 2019.

With the above positive signals, VNDIRECT raised its forecast of HoSE-listed companies’ earnings per share (EPS) growth to 30 per cent, compared to the previous forecast of 23 per cent.

As of May 25, the P/E ratio of VN-Index reached 17.8 times, lower than the level of 18.4 times at the end of April as the business results of listed companies improved in the first quarter.

“We estimated that 2021’s P/E ratio is at 16.5x, equivalent to its five-year average,” VNDIRECT stated in its outlook.

Analysts from the securities firm cited some factors supporting the market in June, including some countries being ready to fully open, brighter export outlook and expectations that listed companies’ net profits will surge in 2021.

However, some risks remain. They are the negative impact of the new COVID-19 outbreak on Viet Nam's GDP growth outlook in the second quarter, the risk of rising inflation in the second quarter of 2021, and high market margin balance.

"We expect VN-Index will move in the range of 1,280 - 1,380 points in June," VNDIRECT said.

This securities company believes that besides large-cap stocks, some mid-cap stocks in the steel, real estate, financial services, textile and seafood industries will attract capital inflows this month.

In June, VNDirect recommended five stocks including Vinhome JSC (VHM) with the target price at VND134,300 per share, Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation (STK) with the target price at VND41,000 per share, Vinh Hoan Corporation (VHC) (target price at VND50,000 per share), SCSC Cargo Service Corporation (SCS) (target price at VND161,400 share) and Petrovietnam Transportation Corporation (PVT) with the target price at VND19,800 per share.

Of these stocks, VHM was the only one dropping on Friday, down 0.95 per cent, while the rest rose with PVT hitting the maximum daily gain of 7 per cent.

VND shares finished lower on the last trading day of the week, down 0.82 per cent to VND60,400 per share. 

Google facilitating growth of Viet Nam’s game industry

Google, in collaboration with leading game companies and experts, held a series of Think Games Vietnam events last week.

It also announced intensive programmes to better support Vietnamese online game developers in international markets.

Tram Nguyen, Country Director for Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam at Google Asia-Pacific, said it recently launched the GameCamp project and the Gaming Growth Lab programme for game developers in Viet Nam.

Google hopes to see breakthrough growth in Viet Nam’s game industry in international markets and turn it into a major foreign currency earner, contributing to economic recovery during and after the pandemic, she said.

Google has diversified workforce training activities for Viet Nam’s game industry at all levels. It also helped content developers find success via Google Play, a platform with over two billion users in more than 190 countries and territories.

According to the App Annie 2020 rankings, Vietnamese game companies ranked seventh in terms of downloads worldwide. For every 25 games downloaded, one is made by a Vietnamese company.

Since 2015, five Vietnamese companies have been on the list of the leading game developers in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in terms of downloads, as announced by App Annie. 

Vietnam Post licenced to provide intermediary payment services

The State Bank of Viet Nam has licensed Vietnam Post to conduct intermediary payment transactions through its PostPay platform.

The platform would provide financial and cash flow management solutions as well as non-cash payment.

The licence allows Vietnam Post to provide services such as e-wallet, e-payment portal, support money transfer, collection and payment. Users can use the cash transfer feature for cash delivery at the post offices where they live or to the recipient's home across 63 provinces and cities nationwide.

Chu Quang Hao, General Director of Vietnam Post said this has been a pre-condition to promote the strong development of their digital services, including fintech to open new opportunities for higher revenue.

Vietnam Post has strong investment in infrastructure, technical and modern technology solutions to meet requirements of intermediary payment services as well as the digital era.

The company has brought new convenience to customers, contributing to promote non-cash payment in the country, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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



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