One more project in the red for Vinachem
A Laos-based potassium salt mining and processing project is the fifth million-dollar loss-making project of Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) and the thirteenth of the Trade and Industry sector.
The total investment of this Vinachem project is $522 million, including $105 million from Vinachem, $113 million from Vietnam Development Bank (VDB), $161 million from Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam JSC (BIDV), and $143 million from VietinBank.
The project’s scope of exploration is 10 square metres. It is expected to be built within five years and start exploration from 2020, producing 320,000 tonnes annually. However, after two years of construction, the project has stalled in 2017.
In 2017, the 20 subsidiaries of Vinachem recorded a total profit of nearly VND2.2 trillion ($100 million), but four projects had a negative revenue of VND2.115 trillion ($93.2 million).
Earlier, in the first days of 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue approved the restructuring scheme of Vinachem, stipulating that this group would divest from almost all of its subsidiaries by 2020.
The four loss-making fertiliser companies are Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertilizer and Chemical Company, DAP-Vinachem Co., Ltd., DAP2-Vinachem JSC, and Ninh Binh Nitrogenous Fertilizer Ltd. Company. Vinachem has to divest of these units after they turn their business around.
The mother company plans its equitisation for 2018-2019, leaving only 50-65 per cent of its charter capital (some VND20 trillion–$890 million) under state control.
As for its member companies, Vinachem plans to retain more than 65 per cent of the charter capital of Vietnam Apatite One Member Limited Company in 2018.
It will also maintain 50-65 per cent stakes in seven member companies, less than 50 per cent stake in nine others, and divest completely from 15 companies.
According to Vinachem’s financial report for the second half of 2017, the combined profit from its subsidiaries was VND50 billion ($2.2 million), with a loss of VND192 billion ($8.5 million) by the parent company.
Shinhan Card spends $150 million on Prudential Finance acquisition
Shinhan Financial Group has just announced that subsidiary Shinhan Card has completed the acquisition of Prudential Vietnam Finance Company Ltd.
Shinhan’s announcement on the stock exchange noted that the company will acquire 100 per cent of Prudential Finance’s shares, that are valued at 161.4 billion won ($150.8 million).
It aims to expand the Vietnamese consumer finance sector, which has been reporting double-digit growth in recent years and is expected to sharply develop in the next years.
Prudential Finance is a 100% foreign capital consumer finance company established in 2007. The company’s revenue hit around $72 million with a profit of $13 million in 2016.
Prudential started selling insurance policies in Vietnam in 1999, then opened up Eastspring Investments Fund Management Company in 2005 and Prudential Vietnam Finance Company Ltd. in 2007.
The scale of Prudential’s insurance business in Vietnam is much smaller than in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Indonesia. It is expected to be developed after selling off the company’s consumer finance arm.
This movement mirrors other global insurance companies’ selling off their non-core business sectors in Asia to focus on the insurance market.
Prudential Finance, FE Credit, HomeCredit, and HDSaigon are four companies covering the Vietnamese consumer finance market. According to StoxPlus, the total outstanding loans of consumer finance companies was over VND56 trillion ($2.47 billion) at the end of 2016.
In 2017, Military Bank (MB) announced selling 49 per cent of the shares at VND500-billion MB One Member Co., Ltd. for Shinsei Bank of Japan and gaining VND615 billion ($27.1 million). In September 2017, this company was officially renamed to MB Shinsei Finance Limited Liability Company (MS Finance). MB Group still owns 50 per cent of MS Finance’s shares, while the remaining 1 per cent is owned by Xuan Thanh Development and Construction Investment Limited Company.
Earlier, Techcombank announced that its Board of Management approved all documents related to transferring the entire capital of TechcomFinance to Lotte Card. This deal enabled Lotte Card to break into the vibrant Vietnamese consumer finance market.
Next week, on February 1, 2018, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) will also auction off Post and Telecommunication Finance Company Limited at the initial price of VND500 billion ($22 million), which is also the charter capital of this company since 1998.
BIM Group kicks off $35-million solar power project in Ninh Thuan
One of Vietnamese leading private groups BIM and the Philippines-based AC Energy have started developing BIM 1 solar power plant in Phuoc Minh commune in the central province of Ninh Thuan.
The project aims to satisfy the increasing energy demand and to replace fossil energy with more sustainable and renewable alternatives, contributing to the country’s economic development and improving living standards.
The Vietnamese government also stimulates renewable energy investment, especially solar power due to its stability and environmentally-friendly feature, via issuing Decision No.11/2017/QD-TTg on an incentive mechanism to develop solar power projects.
Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan are the two central provinces having the greatest potential for developing renewable energy. These provinces are the areas where BIM Group has implemented its investment and business activities during the past ten years, with Quan The, Tri Hai, and Ca Na Economic Zone project.
According to the plan, the solar farm project, which has a total capital of 30MWp, will cover an area of 35 hectares with a total investment capital of VND800 billion ($35.2 million). By installing 90,000 solar panels and other modern equipment, the plant is expected to generate 50 million kWh per annum once it comes into operation.
According to plan, the solar farm will be connected to the national grid in the third quarter of this year, which is the premise for accelerating other large-scale solar projects with a total capacity of 300MW to generate electricity in the first quarter of 2019.
Doan Quoc Viet, chairman of BIM Group, stated, “As one of Vietnam’s leading diversified groups, BIM Group’s business and investment activities always revolve around sustainability.”
BIM Group’s long-term target is to generate 1,000MW of clean energy by 2025. To achieve this, BIM Group has entered into a co-operation with AC Energy, one of the largest groups of the Philippines, to develop the project in Ninh Thuan.
“AC Energy is very concerned about the renewable energy sector in Vietnam and wants to become a pioneer in this sector. The company is pleased to co-operate with BIM Group, and is keen to utilise their massive experience in operating in Ninh Thuan,” said Eric Francia, management director of AC Energy.
BIM Group decided to select Conergy Asia & ME Pte. Ltd. as the contractor, trusting in the company’s more than 20 years of experience and track record of over 300 solar power plants in Europe, the Middle-East, Asia, and the Americas.
“We were pleased to have been selected once again to develop a solar power project in Southeast Asia, especially as this will be our first project in Vietnam,” said Marc Lohoff, general director of Conergy.
Recognised as one of the leading business groups in the country, BIM’s operations are focused on four main business sectors, including tourism development and real estate investment, agriculture-food,commercial services, and renewable energy. The group is one of the few having the capacity to meet the strict quality requirements of international partners.
AC Energy Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Ayala Corp., develops and operates solar, wind, and hydro power generation facilities. It has been recognized as the fastest developing firm in the Philippines. AC Energy plans to expand its operation to Indonesia and other markets in Southeast Asia.
SCB recognised as outstanding member by VSD
Standard Chartered Bank Viet Nam (SCB) was recognised by Viet Nam Securities Depository (VSD) as one of its top 10 outstanding members by assets under custody in 2017.
The award honours outstanding members who have contributed positively to custody, clearing and settlement of securities transactions in the market.
This is the first time VSD presented awards to members for their participation and contribution to the Viet Nam stock market. SCB is one of only two foreign custodian banks to receive the accolade.
Standard Chartered’s custody offering gives customers a single entry point to access services in multiple markets. The key benefits include a single point of contact, multiple services across multiple markets, direct access to operational support and centralised client services, unique coverage through on-shore presence and carefully selected third party agents.
The bank’s custody product adopts the best international practices and comes with its multi-functional Straight2Bank platform, which gives clients on-demand access to comprehensive transactional and reporting capabilities.
Recently, SCB launched an enhanced custody business model, which leverages the expertise of all relevant stakeholders, including relationship management, product management, securities service sales and implementation management, as well as client service management, market development and operations to ensure clients get the right solutions to address their needs.
SCB was named the “Best Foreign Bank in Viet Nam” for three consecutive years, including by the Global Banking and Finance Review in 2014 and 2015, and by Global Business Outlook in 2016.
Government data critical for businesses
Though Viet Nam has made great strides in streamlining administrative procedures and developing e-governance, more needs to be done to enable businesses and the public to access information from the Government, a roundtable heard in HCM City on Tuesday.
Tran Ngoc Liem, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City office, said businesses need many kinds of information such as domestic and global markets and the output of certain sectors, but they find it hard to get it.
This is valuable information that helps businesses analyse their investment and trading opportunities, Liem said.
He said the World Bank had an open data for business tool and hoped its working group would suggest recommendations and support Viet Nam’s efforts to successfully establish a digital government and open data.
Open data is freely available online for anyone to use and reproduce. While social media, companies and non-government organisations (NGOs) can all be sources of open data, the most widely used data comes from governments and government-supported institutions.
Using open data would offer benefits like more efficient public administration, economic growth in the private sector and social welfare.
Alla Morrison, innovation data programme coordinator at the World Bank, said businesses can use open data “as a source of information for research and decision making, and as new material to create new data-driven products, services and application platforms”.
Many countries have developed open data and reaped its benefits, she said.
The most widely quoted is a study by McKinsey Global Institute, which estimated that open data (from government and non-government sources) could create US$3-5 trillion annually in economic value worldwide in the seven sectors of education, transportation, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, healthcare and consumer services.
Open data can give potential investors essential information they need about a country’s governance, infrastructure and resources.
Investors may be interested in data about a country’s census statistics, workforce skills, tariffs, land or the national infrastructure.
It can help launch new businesses, make existing businesses more efficient and profitable, increase employment and attract foreign investment, according to the World Bank.
The bank’s international experts are working with local partners to collect information about the reality and Viet Nam’s readiness level with respect to open data and digital government.
At the Roundtable on Open Data and Digital Government Readiness Assessment yesterday, delegates, including businesses leaders, representatives of business groups and others, were divided into groups to discuss how their organisations use data, the current or potential barriers to data access and use and other issues.
In spring this year, the World Bank will offer Viet Nam a roadmap and recommendations on developing open data.
VCCI kicks off recycling plan
The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on Tuesday kicked off a programme for advancing circular economy to protect the environment.
The programme was marked with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in implementing a “Zero Waste to Nature” initiative between VCCI’s Viet Nam Business Council for Sustainable Development and Unilever Viet Nam, Coca-Cola Viet Nam and Dow Chemical Viet Nam.
According to VCCI, the global economy was seeing a shift from a traditional linear economy into a circular economy in which waste, instead of being disposed and causing pollution, would be recycled and “revived” in other forms of resources and involved in the production process.
Advancing circular economy would help reduce risks of resource scarcity in the future, tackle environment problems and redefine economic growth.
Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI’s general secretary, said the programme aimed to raise policy recommendations for developing a secondary raw material market, introduce good practices of circular economies of companies in the world to domestic enterprises, and provide support to implementing initiatives under public-private partnership practice.
“Enhanced co-operation is necessary to build a non-emission economy, which will help create more jobs, enhance competitiveness of the private sector and grasp business opportunities worth billions of dollars the circular economy will generate,” Vinh said. “The programme will also contribute to promoting the green growth strategy of Viet Nam.”
The initiative of “Zero Waste to Nature” was the first activity of the programme which had four goals, including solving problems arising from plastic waste, developing a roadmap for promoting sustainable business models, developing circular-economy oriented value chains and raising policy recommendations for advancing circular economy.
Nguyen Thi Bich Van, chairwoman of Unilever Viet Nam, said that the company pledged to collect, recycle and reuse all plastic packages of its products by 2025.
Sanket Ray, general director of Coca-Cola Viet Nam, said by 2030 the company targetted to collect and recycle all plastic bottles of its sold products.
Deputy PM promotes regional prosperity
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has urged the World Economic Forum (WEF) to work with ASEAN member countries to promote regional prosperity as challenges and changes face the region and the world.
Hue was delivering a speech at a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Strategic Group at the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.
He said the group should focus on strategic issues, such as maintaining dynamic development, competitiveness and self-improvement within the 10-member group, promote the equal development of the ASEAN Community, raise the central role played by ASEAN in co-operation mechanisms and regional security, and boost intra-bloc co-operation and connectivity.
Viet Nam was always ready to hold dialogues and closely co-ordinate with other ASEAN nations, its partners and businesses, he said, noting that the country was closely working with the WEF in preparation for the WEF-ASEAN conference in September in Ha Noi
Hue met Johann Schneider-Ammann, a member of the Switzerland Federal Council, sharing his view that the Viet Nam-Switzerland economic relationship was encouraging.
They agreed to step up bilateral co-ordination at multilateral forums while pushing negotiations for a free-trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association, of which Switzerland is a member.
Hue said he highly valued the Swiss Government’s commitment to maintaining official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam during 2017-20 and called on it to help develop a high-quality education system, combining it with scientific and technological research.
He also met the vicer-president of the telecommunications group Qualcomm, suggesting it co-operate with Viet Nam in innovative start-ups in information-technology, share its experience in innovation, and boost collaboration in human-resources development in the telecommunications sector.
Within the framework of the WEF, the Deputy PM on Monday had a working session with Zurich Airport, the world’s leading group in investment and aviation management.
The group is interested in partnering Viet Nam in airport projects, including Long Thanh International Airport, as well as in training and the transfer of managerial technologies.
On the same day, the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Embassy in Berne and Bell Capital co-organised a Viet Nam Investment Forum in Zurich.
Themed “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” this year’s WEF Davos attracts more than 3,000 delegates, who are leaders of nations, international organisations and world leading groups and non-governmental organisations.
Funds crucial for supervision of raw milk quality
Monitoring of raw milk quality was still limited by lack of funds and human resources from specialised management agencies.
This was observed by Tong Xuan Chinh, deputy director of Livestock Husbandry Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the National Dialogue on RawMilk Quality and Supply in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
He said supervision of rawmilk quality was an indispensable activity of the dairy industry at any scale to produce good-quality dairy products.
To achieve that, milk enterprises were paying great attention to the quality of fresh raw milk in line with international standards, he said. These processes were based on the performance of basic quality tests at different stages: purchasing, transporting, processing, packing, preserving and distributing.
According to La Van Thao, chief of the Livestock Husbandry Department’s cattle office, raw milk is currently collected in four forms. First, milk-processing enterprises sign raw material purchase contracts with farmer households according to the standards prescribed by enterprises. Milk purchase prices are based on raw milk quality. Second, milk-processing enterprises sign contracts for product purchase and support for raw material development, technical training and credit support. Third, enterprises invest in dairy production in closed chain (from feed to cattle breeding to processing and consumption). Fourth, dairy enterprises sign contract to sell raw milk to another company specialising in milk processing, such as the link model of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Company with NutiFood Company.
Many areas such as Ha Noi, HCM City, Thanh Hoa and SocTrang provinces with dairy farming were also involved in chain production.
Domestic rawmilk production, however, was still low, meeting only 40 per cent of total domestic consumption. Moreover, the quality isn’t stable. There were many reasons for this: Up to now, 65 per cent of national dairycows have been bred on a smallscale (a household breeding of two to three cows) and at farmer households, so compliance with the requirements of the breeding process, housing conditions, food hygiene and safety is not guaranteed.
The quality of dairy cattle, nutrition, food and disease epidemic safety hasn’t been properly invested in and has been strictly controlled, so the volume of raw milk produced in the country was still low.
A large quantity of raw milk wasn’t being purchased by factories because it didn’t meet quality requirements.
Representatives of some influential milk enterprises at the meeting said one of the challenges they faced was overlapping management responsibility of the relevant ministries, which was not in line with the actual production and food safety law.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development manages raw milk production, the Ministry of Industry and Trade manages liquid milk product and the Ministry of Health looks after liquid milk supplement with micronutrients.
A representative of the Dutch Embassy in Viet Nam shared the Netherlands’ experience that developing the dairy-processing industry in Viet Nam needed strong cooperation between farmers and through clubs to learn about breeding experiences and updated techniques.
In 2017, Viet Nam’s dairy farming industry developed steadily. Dairy cattle continued to grow, with some enterprises increasing investment and expanding the scale of animal husbandry combined with favourable conditions in some localities.
The National School Milk Programme has promoted the development of dairy herds. Meanwhile, dairy cattle was growing well and expanding in other localities, such as provinces of Phu Yen, Thanh Hoa, Lam Dong and Ha Giang.
Quality of the dairy herd has been improved through the process of selection and improvement of feeding. Many enterprises have invested a lot in industrial dairy farming using high technology to link the processing and distribution of milk products.
Diamond Island hands out Mercedes Benz worth VND2.8 billion to thank customers
On January 16, Kusto Home Vietnam, the developer of Diamond Island, hosted the “Appreciation party–Diamond Shine” in the presence of more than 800 customers and partners to welcome 2018 and show its high appreciation to customers.
Exceptionally, Kusto Home gifted a Mercedes Benz E300 AMG worth VND2.8 billion ($122,920) to one of its loyal customers, Hoang Quoc Thinh, the buyer of a three-bedroom unit at Bora Bora tower.
Thinh stated, “I think luck was with me when I purchased an apartment at Diamond Island—it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The green environment overlooking the gorgeous views of the CBD and Saigon River are only a few of the features that distinguish Diamond Island from other high-end real estate projects. With 42 outstanding facilities, Diamond Island is undoubtedly a great spot for relaxation after a hard day of work.”
In 2017, Kusto Home introduced the Bahamas and Maldives towers to the real estate market of Ho Chi Minh City, 95 per cent of the units were sold in a short time. Perched at a prime location in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Diamond Island offers international-standard residential facilities to discerning homebuyers.
Murat Utemisov, CEO of Kusto Home, highlighted the firm’s great appreciation of all of its buyers, partners, and agents who vastly contributed to the success of Diamond Island.
With the concept of Luxury in Nature, Diamond Island is a pioneer of the Luxury & Green Living trend in the southern metropolis. Offering a high-class living experience for residents in Vietnam, the real estate project proved to be a golden spot for investment and living.
In September 2017, Kusto Home hosted the topping-out event as part of the project’s second development phase. The residential apartment project is expected to be handed over in the third quarter of 2018.
Especially, over the same time period, the Diamond Island bridge project was initiated to span over the Saigon River between the residential area of Thanh My Loi to Mai Chi Tho Street. In particular, the bridge is implemented to lessen the commuting time from Diamond Island to District 1 to only a few short minutes.
C&W assists FM Logistic’s entry into Vietnam
Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) have recently advised on France’s FM Logistic’s first facility in Vietnam, in northern Bac Ninh province, which will feature a 5,000 sq m tri-temperature logistics site for long-term customers.
FM Logistic is following its “Ambition 2022” plan to expand geographical coverage to support customer growth. C&W have confirmed that a site has been identified in Hanoi for an additional facility of 50,000 sq m and that work is ongoing to secure another site in Ho Chi Minh City this year.
“In line with the group’s strategy, our objective is to become one of the leading logistics providers in Vietnam by 2020 and to develop pooling so that we can create value for our customers,” said Mr. Stéphane Descarpentries, Director of Operations in Asia for FM Logistic.
“Welcoming FM Logistic, a leading supply chain company, is a fantastic achievement for our business but also to the wider Vietnam market,” said Mr. Alex Crane, Managing Director of C&W Vietnam. “They are pioneers in many technologies and processes that will add value to retail and FMCG companies through effective supply chain management that will ultimately benefit consumers at the point of sale.”
“The logistics segment in Vietnam is undergoing rapid change, with vast expansions of leased space by some of the most famous names in the world, many of whom are our clients,” he went on. “It’s a fantastic time to be in the industrial and logistics advisory business. 2017 was a record year in transaction numbers for our firm.”
Founded in 1967, FM Logistic has become an international supply chain leader in warehousing, transport, and co-packaging. As an independent and family-run group, it is recognized as being an expert in the consumer goods, distribution, perfume/cosmetics, manufacturing, and health markets.
FM Logistic is present on three continents and in five business zones (Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America) with over 23,300 staff and more than a billion dollars in revenue, 63 per cent of which is made internationally.
It is a pioneer in effective solutions for the future of supply chains, spearheading concepts such as “pooling” (shared management of transport and logistics resources) and Collaborative Routing Centers (multi-client and multi-supplier flow pooling). In partnership with manufacturers, FM Logistic has also developed innovations for the warehouse of tomorrow (AGVs, drones, robots, and the utilization of big data, among others) and supports startup incubation projects inspired by the collaborative economy and applied to warehousing and transport.
Ninja Van secures Series C funding
Ninja Van, a pan-Southeast Asia technology-enabled logistics platform, announced on January 23 that it has successfully concluded the Series C funding round in 2017. Spurred by its exponential growth over the past three years in the region, the company intends to use the capital to further consolidate its presence across its operating markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
“With an established network in Southeast Asia covering six high-growth markets, the capital raised will be invested towards further improving technology and operational capabilities to help Ninja Van continue our drive in offering hassle-free delivery solutions to businesses of all sizes,” said CEO Mr. Lai Chang Wen. “We believe in providing a consistently superior and seamless experience for both our sellers and their customers across all our markets.”
Since 2016, Ninja Van Vietnam has been addressing the logistics needs of customers by offering them options in tracking their parcels, receiving real-time updates, and gaining access to alternative pick-up points.
With a focus on e-commerce, it provides businesses with innovative technology-based solutions to optimize their logistics and achieve their business needs. It is currently working with well-known e-commerce partners such as Lazada, Sendo, Fahasa and SCJ, to provide hassle-free delivery to consumers.
Since its Series B fundraising in 2016, Ninja Van has achieved strong growth driven by the booming Southeast Asia e-commerce sector and currently manages millions of deliveries each month across its markets.
Through a differentiated technology-enabled platform comprising user applications and complex algorithmic systems, the company delivers innovative and scalable logistics solutions to businesses of all sizes across its end-to-end express logistics network. In addition to its fleet of vehicles and delivery personnel, the business also includes hundreds of drop-off points strategically located across the region to provide sellers and customers with the added convenience of dropping off and collecting their parcels. To support its burgeoning business needs, Ninja Van has also increased its staff to over 1,000 professionals across its operating markets.
The company is currently working with established, blue-chip investors such as The Abraaj Group (a global growth markets private equity investor), ACE Capital (a Taiwan-based venture capital firm focused on investing in Asia), the B Capital Group (a global venture capital firm that invests in pioneering B2B and B2B2C companies primed to scale across the global stage), the DPD Group (one of the largest international parcel delivery networks in Europe), Monk’s Hill Ventures (a venture capital firm investing in early-stage tech startups), and YJ Capital (a corporate venture capital fund in all stages of investment).
With this vote of confidence from investors, the technology-enabled delivery company is well positioned to cement itself as the preferred parcel delivery network for domestic and global businesses in Southeast Asia. As one of Ninja Van’s latest investors, the DPD Group combines innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers.
Launched in 2014, Ninja Van began operations in Singapore to address the logistics needs of customers by offering them options in tracking their parcels, receiving real-time updates, and gaining access to alternative pick-up points. “Recognizing that consumers across Southeast Asia want a consistent, hassle-free delivery experience regardless of where they buy from (domestic and/or international), and that clients want a singular access point into the region, we decided to expand our network to cover Southeast Asia,” said Mr. Wen. “Ninja Van’s vision is to have a Ninja within reach of any consumer in Southeast Asia.”
Vietnam’s leading architecture awards receives AkzoNobel endorsement
On January 19, AkzoNobel, a Dutch multinational company (MNC) specialised in producing paints and coatings as well as specialty chemicals, together with Vietnamese architecture and construction website Ashui.com, hosted the Ashui Awards in Ho Chi Minh City.
Since 2012, the Ashui Awards—Vietnam’s first award system obtaining the sponsorship of Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association (VUPDA)—has been held annually by Ashui.com to serve the long-term development of the domestic construction sector.
Ashui Awards 2017 preserved the prize structure of the award system, which included five conventional categories: Architect of the Year, Building of the Year, Contractor of the Year, Developer of the Year, and Engineer of the Year.
Exceptionally, the Future Project of the Year and Green Building of the Year titles were added to this year’s list of awards in order to catch up with the latest trend of sustainable architecture. Additionally, the architecture-centric awards was designed to acknowledge reputable architects, contractors, and engineering firms, as well as investors and real estate developers who made significant contributions to the society.
Nguyen Cong Hai, marketing director of AkzoNobel Paint Vietnam, spoke about the prominent achievements recorded in Vietnam’s architecture industry over the past several years: “AkzoNobel committed to motivating architects and designers to create more high-quality architectural products that could meet the accommodation demands of customers. Besides, thanks to Ashui Awards, AkzoNobel could also create an exciting playground for all architects to communicate, share knowledge, and gain experiences, thereby forming a community of potential young designers in the long run.”
“Thanks to the Ashui Awards, the Netherlands-based MNC could provide sustainable solutions and introduce innovative paint products which were manufactured with improved features, such as easy application, high durability, eco-friendliness, and optimal wall protection in all weather conditions, to potential clients, such as architects, designers, and customers. Bridging the gap between AkzoNobel and other enterprises and customers, the award system played a vital role in enhancing the leading position of AkzoNobel in the Vietnamese specialty chemicals market,” Hai said.
With the key objective of sustainable development, AkzoNobel made an unwavering commitment to optimise paint products to provide architectural benefits to customers. As a result, innovative paint products provided by the Dutch MNC would cater comprehensive and professional solutions to the majority of the market, offering practicality as well as inspiring customers in their daily routine.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AkzoNobel, a major producer of specialty chemicals, has a staff of approximately 45,000 people in 80 countries, producing a diversified portfolio of well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon, and Eka.
FLC Group gives US$44,022 to U23 Viet Nam
Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of property developer FLC Group, decided to give VND1 billion (US$44,022) to Viet Nam’s U23 team.
The team secured a berth in the finals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship after beating Qatar, an Asian powerhouse, Qatar on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung, also a player of FLC Thanh Hoa football club, received VND500 million ($22,011). He saved two kicks from Qatar in the penalty shootout.
Born in 1997 in the central province of Thanh Hoa, Dung join FLC Thanh Hoa Club, invested in by the group in 2016.
Quyet said he was surprised and extremely happy with the efforts of U23 Viet Nam. “They are the pride of the country,” he said.
He affirmed that this has been the greatest victory in Viet Nam’s football history. “I believe that U23 Viet Nam will win the final match. The whole country supports them,” he added.
VPBank increases interest rates following VN’s football win
Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) on Tuesday announced an increase in interest rates on its customers’ savings accounts.
This move was attributed to Viet Nam winning over Qatar in the semi-finals of the finals of the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship on the same day .
Accordingly, all customers whose names are Quang Hai and Tien Dung will get an additional 0.23 per cent on interest rates in their savings accounts at the bank today. All the remaining customers will get an additional 0.1 per cent. Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung made history as his penalty save helped Viet Nam continue to the final of the championship. Vietnamese striker Nguyen Quang Hai, who scored four out of seven goals for his team, had two scores in the two-hour duration of the match.
The decision to raise the interest rates was made right after the thrilling win of U23 Viet Nam, thanks to the huge contribution of goalkeeper Tien Dung and midfielder Quang Hai.
Agribank cooperates with RoK in remittances transfer
The Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam (Agribank) and the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s NongHyup Bank (NHB) on Tuesday officially launched the service of transferring money without using bank account.
According to the agreement, the two banks will cooperate in transferring remittances without using US dollar accounts from RoK for individuals in Viet Nam, through the NHB and Agribank network, in accordance with international laws and regulations of transferring money.
Specifically, customers in RoK may reach 1,163 NHB branches or use the application on mobile phones to transfer money; customers in Viet Nam can receive money at any of the over 2,300 branches and transaction offices of Agribank nationwide.
Through the launch of this service, Agribank and NHB target to serve nearly 150,000 Vietnamese people living and working in RoK.
Agribank and NHB have established correspondent bank relations since 2000. After signing a comprehensive cooperation agreement in 2013, the relationship between the two banks has been growing, as reflected in the signing of the cooperative agreement on money transferring services for Vietnamese workers in RoK in 2014. After that, NHB opened a US dollar payment account at Agribank since 2016 and the transaction between the two banks has nearly doubled in only one year.
In 2017, Agribank and NHB continued to sign the agreement on remittance services without using an account. In addition, the two sides have organised many training exchange programmes, surveys and experience sharing. Last year, Agribank sent 300 employees to study and conduct surveys at NHB and also trained approximately 60 NHB staff at Agribank.
Central bank asks lenders to prioritise production, business
The State Bank of Viet Nam has asked credit institutions and branches of foreign banks to give priority to production and business while lending.
According to Document 563/NHNN-TTGSNH issued on Tuesday, the central bank asked for control over credit growth to be tightened to meet the target. The credit growth target for 2018 was set at 17 per cent, lower than the growth rate of 18.17 per cent in 2017.
The credit expansion must be associated with controlling credit quality to prevent new loans from turning into bad debts.
Credit must be limited to sectors with high risks, such as real estate and securities sectors, the central bank said, adding that a close watch must be maintained on the progress of the property projects, financial capacity of developers and mortgage assets.
The management on quality of consumer credit must be enhanced to prevent the use of consumer loans in investing in real estate and securities.
Credit should prioritise agriculture, rural, export and part-supplying industries, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and enterprises applying high technologies in business and production, according to the document.
The central bank’s statistics showed that credit in business and production accounted for 80 per cent of the total outstanding loans in 2017.
Japanese group eyes solar energy plant in Binh Phuoc
Officials of the southern province of Binh Phuoc on January 25 discussed a solar energy plant project with representatives of the Asia Infonet INC of Japan’s AIN Group.
The project is expected to be built on an area of 54ha at the Becamex – Binh Phuoc industrial and urban complex.
At the meeting, Asia Infonet INC’s General Director Tsuyoshi Sai said the company has experience in solar energy development in Japan. He also noted the great potential for solar energy in Binh Phuoc.
The general director hoped to know more about procedures to carry out the project as soon as possible, particularly legal procedures to connect the plant with the national grid and sell electricity at the IP.
Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Loi said Binh Phuoc backs the company’s intention and will create favourable conditions for the prompt implementation of the project. He also asked relevant agencies to help the Japanese investor complete procedures in the first quarter.
Binh Phuoc holds huge advantage to foster solar energy projects, with an average of 2,700 sunshine hours per year. The province has given priority to solar energy development and is calling for investors in this sector.
JETRO appreciates HCMC’s attraction to Japanese investors
Deputy executive president of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Yasukazu Irino appreciated the attraction of HCMC to foreign investors including Japanese firms at the meeting with chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting, he expressed impressions to the city’s positive changes and proposed local leaders to assist Japanese companies to operate in HCMC in long term.
Introducing advantages of HCMC with the role of Vietnam’s economic motive power, chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that the city has been implementing many solutions on administrative reform and organized dialogues with foreign firms.
He hoped that through JETRO Japanese firms would attend investment projects in the Smart City project and other fields in HCMC.
Loan interest rate for social housing set at 5%
Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue has recently inked Decision 117/QD-TTg on preferential loan interest rate on social housing in line with Decree 100/2015/ND-CP, dated October 20, 2015 on development management of social housing.
Accordingly, the preferential lending interest rate for social housing projects in 2018 is 5%.
The new decision took effect from the day of signing and replaced Decision 48/QD-TTg, dated January 13, 2017.
The interest rates will be applied for house buyers who have already sought loans from the VND 30 trillion (US$1.32 billion) housing stimulus package launched in 2013 as the minimum repayment term is 15 years, and from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP)./.
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