VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 29
The journal cited data from the World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update showing that the region may record growth of 3.2% this year and 4.6% next year.
Vietnam is predicted to lead the region with growth of 7.2%, higher that the bank’s earlier forecast of 5.3%. The bank also gave growth forecast for other regional countries, including Malaysia (6.4%), the Philippines (6.5%), Indonesia (5.1%), and Cambodia (4.8%).
Basing on this statistics, La Republica held that the new Asian tiger in 2022 will be Vietnam.
Analysts asserted that factors promoting the growth of Asia, except China, include the ending of restriction measures to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening of borders, and the resumption of consumption and industrial production.
At the same time, the rise in commodity prices due to the global energy crisis also has a role to play in boosting the region's export-dependent economies, they said.
Deputy PM Le Minh Khai appointed as Head of Steering Committee for Enterprise Innovation and Develop
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on September 27 signed Decision No.1140/QD-TTg, to set up members of the Steering Committee for Enterprises Innovation and Development, with Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai assigned as the Head of the Steering Committee.
The deputy heads include Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Tran Van Son (Permanent Deputy Head), Nguyen Hong Long, and Nguyen Canh Viet.
This Decision replaces Decisions No. 1694/QD-TTg, dated November 26, 2019, and 2028/QD-TTg dated December 9, 2020 on the appointment of members of the Steering Committee for Enterprise Innovation and Development.
The Steering Committee has the function to assist the Prime Minister in researching, directing, and inspecting the innovation of state-owned enterprises and other enterprises operating under the Enterprise Law.
The Steering Committee also has the task of assisting the Prime Minister in formulating programmes and plans for reforming enterprises nationwide and monitoring the implementation of such plans after being approved.
Customs clearance at Quang Ninh border gate again suspended
Customs clearance was again suspended on September 28 at the Bac Phong Sinh border gate in Quang Ninh’s Hai Ha district that pairs with Li He border gate in China’s Dongxingcity, due to China’s COVID-19 control measures.
Import-export activities at the pairs of border gates just resumed two days ago, on September 26, after seven months of suspension. During the two days September 26 and 27, only two trucks carrying imports from China went through the border gate.
Besides, the week-long National Day holiday in China is starting soon. The Chinese side has announced that it will re-open the border gate on October 8.
Minor improvements seen in the transparency of provincial budgets
The average ranking of budget transparency for localities in 2021 was 69.53 points out of 100, a rise of just 0.44 points compared to 2020. The numbers suggest that most localities have not fully disclosed information about their finances to the public.
The data was published in the 2021 Provincial Open Budget Index (POBI), announced at a ceremony in Hanoi on September 28 by the Budget Transparency, Accountability, and Participation (BTAP) Alliance, the Centre for Development and Integration (CDI), and the Vietnam Centre for Economic and Strategic Studies (VESS).
Ba Ria – Vung Tau remained at the top of the rankings with 98.59 points. Quang Binh, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh are the three most improved localities in the rankings, while Ninh Binh, Tay Ninh and Lam Dong's performances dropped significantly.
POBI is based on three principles: budget transparency, accountability of provincial organisations, and public participation in the budget-building process.
The index aims to encourage greater transparency, accountability and management of public finance; create positive competition between provinces; and ensure public trust in provincial public budget management.
Particularly in the criteria of public participation, POBI has shown that provinces mostly did not allow citizens to join in the budget-building process. The average score of public participation for all 63 localities is just 41.8/100. Da Nang still tops the leaderboard in the criteria, whereas Dak Nong has the worst record with only 8.3 points.
In the accountability criteria, the average score of all 63 localities is 48.2 out of 100, with 41 localities (65.08%) publicising their plan to assess and manage the budget.
The report also perceived that most localities that have good budget practices tend to continue these good habits, such as Vung Tau, Vinh Long, Da Nang, Cao Bang, and Lai Chau.
Transport Ministry proposes licensing cargo airline
The Ministry of Transport has proposed the prime minister issue an air cargo transport license to IPP Air Cargo JSC, whose chairman is billionaire Johnathan Hanh Nguyen.
The ministry garnered sufficient feedback on the establishment of the cargo airline from relevant agencies, saying that the airline’s documentation meets all business requirements and prevailing regulations, the local media reported.
The local market has five air carriers specializing in transporting both passengers and cargo, while there is no air carrier specializing in cargo transport, said the ministry.
Meanwhile, under the 2020 transport service development strategy with a vision toward 2030 approved by the prime minister, Vietnam would have a fleet of 8-10 aircraft for cargo transport in 2020. The number of aircraft will increase to 15-20 by 2030.
The launch of IPP Air Cargo is aimed at providing customers with specialized cargo transport services and boosting the nation’s logistics growth, said Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan.
Processing - manufacturing, real estate top FDI attraction in nine months
Processing - manufacturing and real estate are the biggest magnets for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of 2022, statistics showed.
As of September 20, registered FDI totalled 18.7 billion USD, down 15.3% year on year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).
The figure includes 7.12 billion USD poured into 1,355 new projects, respectively falling 43% and rising 11.8%. More than 8.3 billion USD was poured into 769 existing projects, up 29.9% and 13.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, foreign investors spent over 3.28 billion USD on purchasing shares in Vietnamese companies, up 1.9%.
The processing and manufacturing sector continued to take the lead with over 12.1 billion USD in FDI, accounting for 64.6% of total registered capital. It was followed by real estate with over 3.5 billion USD, or nearly 19%.
The MPI said though newly registered investment has yet to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts and recent global uncertainties, the capital added to existing projects and spent on share purchases have been on the rise.
In the first nine months, Vietnam recorded investment from 97 countries and territories. Singapore was the largest source of FDI during the period with more than 4.75 billion USD (equivalent to 25.3% of the total but still down 24.3% from a year earlier). The Republic of Korea ranked second (3.8 billion USD, equivalent to 20.3%, down 2.38%) and Japan third (1.9 billion USD, equivalent to 10.2%).
Ho Chi Minh City was the biggest FDI destination with over 2.96 billion USD registered, making up 15.8% of the total and rising 26.2%. It was followed by southern Binh Duong province (2.7 billion USD, equivalent to 14.4%, up 58%) and northern Bac Ninh province (1.78 billion USD, equivalent to 9.5%, and increasing 2.1-fold).
As of September 20, Vietnam was home to 35,725 valid FDI projects worth more than 431.5 billion USD.
Many firms suspend raising capital from stock market
Many enterprises have either stopped mobilizing capital or changed their capital-raising plans on the stock market amid existing uncertainties and disadvantages.
The key interest rate hike by the State Bank of Vietnam following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move has taken a toll on the stock market. Specifically, the central bank’s decision to raise interest rate caps on short-term deposits has prompted commercial banks to increase savings rates. The move would lead to capital flow into the stock market dwindling.
Sao Mai Group, under the code ASM, on September 22 announced to cancel its plan to issue over 168 million shares due to the bearish market. ASM closed the session on the same day at VND17,250, down 32% against its highest price in late March.
Similarly, Louis Capital JSC on September 23 held an extraordinary meeting to announce that it would stop issuing some 55 million shares, explaining that the current situation did not back the plan.
Despite keeping its share issue intact, Development Investment Construction JSC, with the code DIG, has lowered the selling price and volume twice.
Thai Nguyen International Hospital JSC is set to announce changes to its plans to issue shares to its shareholders at its extraordinary shareholders meeting on October 10.
Under its new capital mobilization plan, the hospital will issue some 26 million shares to its current shareholders at VND20,000 per share, half the price on bourse.
In addition, Kien Giang Construction Investment Consultancy Group has decided to ditch its plan to sell 13.4 million CKG shares.
The Vietnamese stock market is forecast to remain choppy for the rest of the year due to China’s zero-Covid policy, global inflation, a potential economic recession facing the United States and the European Union and the rapid pace in interest rate hikes at central banks worldwide, according to a recent report released by KB Securities Vietnam.
Techfest Haiphong 2022 kicks off
The innovation week and startup festival in Hai Phong (Techfest Haiphong 2022), themed “Hai Phong- innovation city - destination of success”, opened in the northern port city on September 28.
The previous events exhibited 144 innovative start-up projects, and welcomed more than 2,000 domestic and foreign delegates, Nam said, adding that 800 investment and business connections were arranged.
During Techfest Haiphong 2022, over 10 events will be held, including an exhibition introducing innovative products, hi-tech agricultural technologies from Israel, a "start-up incubation" contest, and a workshop on application of advanced management tools to improve productivity and quality for local enterprises.
Mekong Delta rice paddies at risk of being salinated
Saline intrusion in the 2022-2023 dry season in the Mekong Delta is forecast to occur sooner, leaving hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice in the delta’s coastal provinces at risk of being salinated.
Saltwater is expected to enter 20-30 kilometers deep into the estuaries of the Mekong River and 30-40 kilometers into the Vam Co River in November and December, the Directorate of Water Resources under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development reported.
However, it will not affect irrigation in the areas, the agency added.
Saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta would penetrate deeper to 50-60 kilometers in January and February 2023, 5-8 kilometers higher than the average of many years but lower by 8-20 kilometers than in 2020.
As saltwater intrudes deep, it exceeds the extent saline control works can handle, especially during high tides and strong winds.
Saltwater intrusion in March 2023 will depend on the water regulated in the upstream Mekong River dams. If the water increases, saline intrusion will be mitigated. Otherwise, it will stay as deep as in February 2023.
According to the Directorate of Water Resources, some 60,000 hectares of rice paddies would be affected when saltwater intrudes, including 11,900 hectares in Tien Giang Province, 12,000 hectares in Ben Tre Province, 15,000 hectares in Tra Vinh Province and 20,000 hectares in Soc Trang Province.
The delta’s coastal areas have nearly 900,000 hectares under rice cultivation. Of them, some 400,000 hectares need to be sowed early from October 10 to 30 to avoid deficit irrigation, Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production, said.
Zhejiang int’l trade exhibition, export fair kick off in Hanoi
The Chinese province of Zhejiang opened its international trade exhibition and 10th export fair in Hanoi on September 28.
The events are held at the International Centre of Exhibition in Hoan Kiem district by the Zhejiang Department of Commerce, the Yuanda International Exhibition Co. Ltd, and the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (VINEXAD).
The expo features 130 booths of over 100 exhibitors, displaying hardware products and machinery; textiles, garments and materials; interior and exterior furniture; electronics; and household appliances.
It also includes various side events, such as a seminar on e-commerce; a symposium on international trade promotion and Vietnam-China business matching model; and a bicycle test tour.
China remains the largest trading partner of Vietnam. It ranks first among exporters to and second among importers of products from Vietnam, he said, adding that trade promotion activities like the Zhejiang fair is important to sustain bilateral trade growth.
VinFast to hand over first Evo200 e-scooters to customers
Vietnamese e-vehicle maker VinFast will deliver the first batch of new electric motorcycle model Evo200 to customers in northern Hai Phong city on September 29.
Evo200, which was introduced in April this year, can travel more than 200km after each full charge. It has a price tag of 22 million VND (925 USD) each.
According to VinFast, after 48 hours opening sales of the bike from September 21, the firm received more than 18,000 orders for two models of Evo200 and Evo200 Lite.
VinFast Evo200 is the only brand-new 2-wheeler the brand launches in 2022 alongside four upgrades to Feliz S, Klara S (2022), Vento S, and Theon S.
Viet Nam stock market remains extremely attractive: experts
With its strong economic growth, attractive valuations and high expected earnings growth for listed firms, Viet Nam’s stock market is attractive now and has good prospects, according to experts.
Dr Can Van Luc, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said despite uncertainties in the global economic context, Viet Nam’s 2022 GDP growth is forecast at 7-7.5 per cent, mainly driven by an increase in exports, foreign investment, domestic consumption, and the Government’s socio-economic recovery and development programmes including stepping up of public spending.
The economy is forecast to grow at 6.5-7 per cent in 2023 and 6 per cent in 2024-30, among the highest in the region, he told a seminar titled ‘Cash flow’ organised by Manulife Investment Management (Vietnam) in HCM City last week.
Foreign investors, especially in high-tech manufacturing, have shifted their production to or expanded investment in the country, which would continue to propel Viet Nam’s economic growth for years to come, he said.
Earnings of listed companies are expected to grow at 20-25 per cent this year and the Government has made efforts to make the capital market healthier, safer and more efficient, also factors making the stock market attractive, he said.
The Vietnamese market’s P/E ratio is at its lowest level in the last five years, which is appealing to long-term investors, who are looking for enterprises with high profit growth.
These are among factors supporting the recovery of the stock market, he said.
He said four factors are attracting foreign investors: the country’s stable polity, solid economic recovery, great international integration with 16 free trade agreements signed and deep involvement in the global supply chain, and young and abundant human resources.
Tran Thi Kim Cuong, CEO of Manulife Investment Management (Vietnam), said the Vietnamese economy would grow strongly for the next 15-20 years and companies would benefit from this high growth.
So investors should invest in good companies, and their assets would grow accordingly. There are also mutual funds through which, with a limited amount of money, they could invest in a portfolio of 30-40 leading companies and have experts manage their investments, she said.
Tuan said industrial real estate, power, water, infrastructure, logistics, wholesale and retail, tourism, and aviation are among the sectors expected to achieve good growth.
Luc tipped the digital economy, green finance, renewable energy, green real estate, and agricultural processing to have big growth prospects in the long run.
Market hits multi-month lows on strong sell-off force
Benchmark indices extended losses, down about 2 per cent to multi-month lows on Wednesday as investors still took a cautious approach toward risky assets.
On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the VN-Index fell 22.92 points, or 1.96 per cent, to 1.143.62 points. This was the lowest closing level since February 2021.
After struggling around 1,150 points, the VN-Index eventually broke down another important support zone, leading the market to the long-term bear market.
As many stocks on the southern bourse continued the recent downside, the market breadth remained in negative territory.
However, liquidity improved, of which matching value on HoSE increased by 16.5 per cent over the previous session to over VND10.7 trillion (US$450.6 million), equivalent to a matching volume of 497 million shares.
The 30 biggest stocks tracker VN30-Index also declined 21.8 points, or 1.84 per cent, to 1,160.66 points. In the VN30 basket, 24 stocks slid, while only five climbed and one ended flat.
The market benchmark weakened for a fourth straight session as risk appetite was still weak, causing a strong sell-off force on the market.
The HNX-Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) also finished lower on Wednesday, marking its fourth losing session in a row.
Accordingly, the HNX-Index edged down 3.17 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 252.35 points, a low not seen since March 2021.
During the trading day, the matching value on the northern market reached more than VND1.1 trillion, with the matching volume of 61.5 million shares.
Statistics from a financial website vietstock.vn showed that PV Gas dominated the bearish trend on Wednesday, with a decline of 6.73 per cent.
Foreign investors were net sellers on both main exchanges, with a total value of nearly VND30 billion. Of which, they net sold VND4.79 billion on HoSE and VND24.79 billion on HNX.
Top 500 Vietnam Best Employers 2022
The Top 500 Vietnam Best Employers (VBE500) unveiled winning businesses and organisations on September 28 along with the release of the Vietnam Top Employers Report.
Military-run telecommunications group Viettel took the lead in the VBE500 rankings as the company has generated jobs for over 40,000 employees with an average income of VND35 million ($1,473) per month at the parent company. FPT, Vietnam’s leading IT group, is also named in the VBE500 rankings 2022 with over 35,000 employees and an average monthly income of about VND35 million ($1,473). Vietcombank is also recognised with a total workforce of more than 20,000 employees and an average income of VND32.68 million ($1,376) per person per month.
Under the framework of the programme, the Organising Committee also announced some findings from Viet Research's study on Vietnam's Top Employers: Situation and Challenges Post-COVID based on the results of surveys of enterprises in the VBE500 rankings.
The findings indicate that the Vietnamese labour market is maintaining impressive recovery momentum. Most production and business activities have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
32.8 per cent of respondents believe that the labour market has fully recovered while 26.3 per cent of respondents believe that it has experienced positive changes in terms of structure and demand. Along with the number of jobs created, the income of employees at VBE500 enterprises has also reached levels equal to or higher than before the pandemic.
The study finds that there is a growing demand for staff. The demand for labour is anticipated to soar in the last months of the year, reaching 800,000-900,000 workers. Meanwhile, it is predicted that between 550,000 and 660,000 employees will be needed to fill the majority of the demand for personnel with professional and technical degrees (74 per cent).
Attempts made to minimise supply chain disruptions
It is critical for Vietnamese enterprises to create solutions to minimise supply chain disruptions in the face of global uncertainty and take advantage of overseas investment, participants heard at a Ho Chi Minh City event last week.
According to Frederick Burke, senior advisor at Baker McKenzie Vietnam, to mitigate disruption risks, enterprises must understand the potential risks to supply chains from making contracts, supplier delays, natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, and more.
Vietnam should position itself as a player integrating deeply into the supply chain as it is a friendly country with good relationships. The whole concept of onshoring can be expanded to friend-shoring if Vietnam makes friends with other countries and mitigates the risks, according to Burke.
Le Trong Hieu, head of advisory and transaction Services at CBRE Vietnam, said that with the current volatile geopolitical market, business policies needed to be more flexible.
When choosing an investment location, businesses must expand their options and avoid saturated areas where free space is limited. This will lead to high land leasing prices in second-tier locations where the land fund remains large with lower prices and more opportunities.
Although the pandemic has passed its peak in Vietnam, businesses still suffer a heavy impact from the disruption of supply chains when other countries still restrict travel, not to mention the indirect impact of the Ukraine conflict, according to Hieu.
These problems have forced businesses to reorganise and restructure their scale and production process, arranging appropriate human resources to ensure safety and comply with regulations on pandemic prevention and manufacturing.
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director general of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade, said that supply chain disruptions not only cause damage to businesses but also cause wider economic consequences.
To ensure sustainable long-term development, Hai said the supply chain needed to constantly adapt to achieve the best performance and limit risk.
Gold extends losing trend
After declining by VND1.3 million per tael the previous day, the price of gold in Vietnam continued to drop by VND1-1.4 million per tael to VND63.5 million per tael on September 28, following the losing momentum of the global gold price.
Mi Hong Company listed SJC gold at VND63.1 million per tael for buying and VND64.4 million per tael for selling, down VND1.4 million per tael in the buying rate and VND1.1 million per tael in the selling rate, at around 9 a.m. in Ho Chi Minh City.
At the same time in Hanoi, SJC Company bought gold at VND63.5 million per tael and sold it at VND64.7 million per tael, down VND1.1 million per tael in the buying rate and nearly VND1 million per tael in the selling rate.
However, at around 11.30 a.m., the losing momentum of SJC gold price was reduced by gold trading companies compared to the morning. Specifically, in Hanoi, SJC Company listed gold price at VND64.2 million per tael for buying and VND65.2 million per tael for selling, an increase of VND800,000 in the buying rate and VND500,000 in the selling rate compared to in the morning.
Meanwhile, in HCMC, Mi Hong Company only increased the gold price by VND400,000 in the buying rate and VND100,000 in the selling rate compared to in the morning, to buy gold at VND63.5 million and sold gold at VND64.5 million.
Finance ministry proposes to halve excise, VAT taxes on petrol products
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed to halve the excise tax on fuels and an additional 50% cut in value-added taxes on all petroleum products.
Under the proposal, a 50% excise tax cut would also apply to E5 and E10 biofuels. An additional deduction in value-added taxes (VAT) would apply to fuels, jet fuels, diesel, mazut, and kerosene.
The tax cut is scheduled to take effect in six months, subject to the approval of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly.
According to the MoF, amid growing volatility in the global petrol markets and countries worldwide are taking measures to curb rising inflationary pressure, tax cuts are necessary to support economic recovery and contain inflation.
In the first scenario proposed by the MoF, the ministry suggested a 50% tax cut in excise tax and 20% of the VAT for petrol and diesel products.
Assuming other factors remain unchanged, the price of each liter of biofuel E5-RON92 would be lowered by VND1,113 to VND21,118 (US$0.89), RON95 by VND1,313 to VND21,900 ($0.92), and diesel by VND439 to VND23,741 ($1).
If the proposal becomes effective in November, the MoF expects such a change would help reduce the consumer price index (CPI) growth in 2022 by 0.1 percentage points.