Mercedes-Benz Viet Nam recalls 3,624 vehicles over faulty fuse
Mercedes-Benz Viet Nam is recalling 3,624 vehicles that are at risk of catching fire due to a potentially faulty fuse.
According to the German car maker, the list of recalled vehicles includes C200, C250, C300, E200, GLC 250 4MATIC and GLC 300 4MATIC models, manufactured between September 2015 and February 2017.
The models will be checked and installed with an additional fuse in the electrical line to the starter at an estimated time of 30 minutes per car.
The recall campaign is scheduled to begin on May 14, 2018, and end on September 9, 2020.
Mercedes-Benz Viet Nam is also recalling another 384 vehicles (models E200, E250 and E300) manufactured from August 2016 to April 2017 to replace the seat belts on the left and right backseats. The duration of checking and repairing is estimated at one-and-a-half hours per vehicle.
This recall campaign started on April 16, 2018, and will run till December 31, 2022.
JLL: Hanoi apartment supply down in Q1
Approximately 9,000 units were launched in Hanoi’s apartment market during the first quarter of the year, down 5.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter, according to a quarterly report released by JLL Vietnam on April 12.
Of the total, nearly 67 per cent came from Hoang Mai, Thanh Xuan, Nam Tu Liem and Ha Dong districts. Prices quoted for the new launches mostly ranged between $1,000 and $1,500 per sq m, which accounted for 47 per cent of the total.
Nearly 10,600 units were sold in the primary market during the first quarter, an increase of 7.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 29.7 per cent year-on-year. Sales rates of total available units improved 3.5 bps from 31.5 per cent in the previous quarter.
Among existing projects, sales remained good, with an average sales velocity of around 35 to 50 units per month during the first quarter.
Average primary market prices stood at $1,317 per sq m, down per cent quarter-on-quarter, resulting mostly from the extension of the low-priced segment.
Although registering a decrease on a non-chain-linked basis, a slight increase in chain-linked prices was seen in many projects, of around 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
Prices in the secondary market averaged $1,208 per sq m, stable quarter-on-quarter but down 9.5 per cent year-on-year. The decreases in secondary prices were seen in more buildings than in recent quarters, owing to increasing supply over the period.
JLL forecast that the market will welcome a wave of project completions. More than 47,000 new units are expected to be completed before the end of the year, 80 per cent of which are in the affordable and mid-end segments.
The low-priced segment leads the market, while affordable and mid-end apartments will continue to attract buyers, especially young families.
Sales in the second quarter may be impacted slightly by recently-emerging concerns over fire safety in apartment blocks.
Meanwhile, in Ho Chi Minh City’s apartment market, new launches in the first quarter totaled 13,647 units, down 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter but up 59.3 per cent year-on-year.
To the end of the year, new launches may reach nearly 45,000-50,000 units, dominated by the affordable and mid-end segments, the JLL report noted.
Mining Viet Nam 2018 opens
Mining Viet Nam 2018, an international mining and minerals recovery exhibition opened its doors on Wednesday at the International Centre for Exhibition in Ha Noi.
The three-day expo attracted 137 enterprises from 18 countries and territories, including the UK, Czech Republic, Germany, Singapore, China and Australia. They are showcasing equipment, machinery and technologies used for mining in the 4,000 square metre site.
Director of the Vinacomin Institute of Science and Technology Tran Tu Ba said that Vinacomin was willing to work with partners to bring technological advances used in mining to Viet Nam.
Despite the global mining industry facing a recent slowdown, Mining Viet Nam 2018 continues to attract the participation of many domestic and international exhibitors.
“This shows the optimism of the mining industry in Viet Nam, thanks to policies encouraging mineral exports and an increase in local demand,” said BT Tee, general director of UBM VES Company, the exhibition’s organiser said.
During the event, three seminars will gather speakers to discuss breakthroughs and sustainability in mining, as well as advances in mining and underground works, and the use of modern technology in mining and management. They will also talk about the restoration of mineral resources, and environmental protection.
Asia Miner, a well known Australian magazine specialising in mining and the exploitation of mineral resources, will continue its partnership with Viet Nam in the Regional Technical Conference Viet Nam 2018, with speakers from major foreign firms taking part.
Participants will also discuss measures to improve mining output and safety standards in the field. The biennial event took place for the first time in 2012 and is considered one of the most trustworthy exhibitions in the mining industry in Viet Nam as well as in the wider Asia-Pacific region. It has become a bridge connecting domestic and foreign firms and diversifying advanced technologies and equipment.
This year’s event is expected to draw more than 4,500 visitors.
RoK investors hoped to be strategic partners in VN’s SOE equitisation
As investors from the Republic of Korea (RoK) have financial strength, management experience and high technology, Vietnam wants them to actively take part in and become strategic partners in the equitisation and divestment of State capital from State-owned enterprises (SOEs).
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung made the remark in an interview given to Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of an investment promotion conference in the RoK on April 18.
He said the Vietnamese Government recognises the role of foreign investors, including those from the RoK.
The RoK investors’ participation in the equitisation and divestment will help improve the quality of economic restructuring in Vietnam. It is expected to promote the effectiveness of the governance and use of capital at SOEs in the country, he added.
The minister said the fields that Vietnam wants to attract RoK investment in should be the ones both sides are strong at and can contribute to the two economies’ prosperity like heavy industry, oil refining and petrochemistry, high technology, electronic and consumer product manufacturing, and infrastructure and real estate development.
Vietnam highly values RoK investors’ advantages in capital, technology and governance. It hopes that aside from direct investment, they will also step up indirect investment so as to materialise the statement of the two countries’ leaders during a visit to Vietnam by RoK President Moon Jae-in last March.
The RoK is currently the biggest investor in Vietnam with 59 billion USD of direct investment and over 3 billion USD of indirect investment. Samsung projects in Thai Nguyen province, Bac Ninh province and Ho Chi Minh City, Kaengnam and Lotte buildings, and the Starlake residential area in Hanoi are considered examples of successful investment cooperation between the two countries.
Meeting looks to increase Japanese presence in Mekong Delta
A conference took place in Can Tho city on April 18 to connect Japanese partners with the Mekong Delta, where the presence of foreign businesses, including Japanese ones, is still modest compared to other regions of Vietnam.
The event was among an array of activities marking 45 years of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.
In the opening remarks, former President Truong Tan Sang said the conference aimed to promote investment cooperation between the Mekong Delta localities and Japanese partners. It was a new stride in Vietnam-Japan relations since the signing of a joint statement on the establishment of an extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in 2014.
Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said after years of making development efforts, the Mekong Delta, comprising 12 provinces and Can Tho city, has become a dynamic region full of development potential. The Vietnamese Government pins high hopes on this region, which is also attracting interest of many domestic and foreign investors.
However, he said, the presence of foreign businesses, especially Japanese ones, in the Mekong Delta remains modest compared to other regions. Notably, most of Japanese investors have just concentrated their investment on Can Tho city.
Meanwhile, unpredictable climate change in this region also poses risks to local economic and food security and social stability, he noted.
He expressed his hope that through this conference, Japanese investors would understand more about the Mekong Delta in general and Can Tho city in particular so as to have long-term business orientations here. He also expected that they would stand side by side with the Vietnamese Government in preventing and addressing negative climate change impacts, helping to turn the Mekong Delta into a strong economic hub of the country.
Introducing his city’s advantages, Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong emphasised that Can Tho boasts a favourable river port system linking with many regional localities, along with an international airport. It also has the most developed trade centres, education and healthcare services in the region. Those are the conditions helping the city attracting the most investment in the region over the past years.
For his part, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio said he will actively support the Mekong Delta in attracting Japanese investment. He will help them organise events to connect with Japanese businesses in line with the capacity and demand of each locality.
The conference discussed cooperation in developing transport, health care, education-training and climate change adaptation infrastructure; locality-to-locality cooperation in culture, tourism and labour; and cooperation in agricultural investment.
Sidelines activities included talks between the Mekong Delta localities and the Japanese Ambassador, and visits to industrial parks, projects needing investment, and Japanese companies in Can Tho.
On this occasion, memoranda of understanding on cooperation were inked between the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Foreign Affairs of Localities and Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar, between the Bio-Technology Centre of An Giang province and Japan’s Hagihara company, between the An Giang Bio-Technology Centre and Japan’s Daimasa Engineering company, and between the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association in Can Tho city and the Sakai-Vietnam Friendship Association.
Vietnam expands seafood exports to China
Promoting Vietnamese seafood exports to China was the main focus of a workshop held by the Vietnam Pangasius Association (VPA) and China’s Yuexi fisheries association in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 18.
Vo Hung Dung, VPA Vice President, said Vietnam’s seafood export value to China rose from about 400 million USD in 2014 to 1.8 billion USD in 2017, helping China surpass the US to become the country’s biggest seafood importer.
However, he pointed out the possibility of ending contracts ahead of schedule, thus putting Vietnamese businesses at risk.
Therefore, it is necessary to be cautious while stepping up exports to this market, the official stressed.
Cen Jian, a representative of the Yuexi fisheries association, suggested Vietnamese seafood firms ship their products via official channels to avoid the risk, protecting the interests of both exporters and importers.
Ta Minh Phu, President of the Bac Lieu Seafood Association, raised concerns regarding China’s incentives and tax policies for Vietnamese aquatic products.
In reply, the Chinese side said Vietnamese seafood businesses enjoy a preferential import tax rate of zero percent for the whole year, which is a great advantage for Vietnam compared with the rate of 2.5 percent imposed on Malaysia and Indonesia.
Tran Thanh Phong, Deputy Secretary General of the VPA, said his association will implement five groups of solutions to promote exports to the Chinese market.
The association aims to successfully materialise the Vietnam-China border trade agreement, set up trade links with Guangxi, Yunnan and Guangdong, utilise incentives fro the ASEAN-China Agreement, urge China to remove technical barriers in the sector and intensify trade promotion through exhibitions and fairs.
On this occasion, the Chinese side released information about a seafood fair in Zhanjiang city from June 18-20, 2018, which is expected to draw about 200 businesses.
Participating Vietnamese firms will be exempt from all costs and provided with market information, they said.
Winners of Vietnam Property Awards honoured
Around 54 winners of Vietnam National Property Awards were honoured at a ceremony held by the Vietnam Real Estate Association (VNREA) in Hanoi on April 14.
The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, alongside representatives of ministries, branches and central agencies and representatives of real estate companies. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Politburo member, Secretary of the Party Central Committee (PCC) and head of the PCC’s Communication and Education Commission, Vo Van Thuong, sent a bouquet of flowers to the event.
Addressing the event, on behalf of the Government and the Prime Minister, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung congratulated the winners, while highly appreciating the plan to hold the Vietnam National Property Awards.
Meanwhile, he also asked the Ministry of Construction and the related ministries and branches to review and perfect the policies and legal framework on housing, land and planning, as well as tax and financial policies, real estate business activities in the direction of transparency and simplifying administrative procedures, and creating a favorable business environment for people and businesses.
The Vietnam National Property Awards aims to honour outstanding individuals, organisations and projects that have contributed to the rapid, sustainable and transparent development of the realty market amidst industrialisation, modernisation and integration, thereby encouraging domestic property firms to improve their competitiveness and trademarks to meet international practices.
Participants competed in eight categories, including prestigious real estate developer, largest urban area, best resort development, best office building for rent and shopping malls, best residential area, best green building, best real estate transaction floor and best social housing project.
Vietjet among Top 10 Vietnam Excellent Brands in 2017
Budget carrier Vietjet Air was honoured as among the top ten strong brands with prestigious development in 2017 at the Golden Dragon Awards & Vietnamese Excellent Brands Festival 2017 – 2018, organised by the Vietnam Economic Times in Hanoi on April 14.
The other top-ten businesses included Sun Group, MobiFone, Hung Loc Phat Real Estate Service JSC, TBS Group, Benthanh Group, Binh Dien Fertiliser JSC, Vissan JSC, Bach Dang Construction Corporation, and Southern Airports Services JSC.
Vietjet has been voted as one of Vietnam’s excellent brands for years due to its unceasing efforts to grow and contribute to the community’s development.
The development of the largest private airline not only helps to provide flight opportunities to millions of passengers, but also promotes Vietnamese brands to every Vietjet destination.
Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate under a new-generation aviation model, offering low costs and providing a wide range of services for customers to choose from.
Currently, Vietjet is operating 55 A320 and A321 aircrafts, carrying out more than 385 flights a day and has transported more than 55 million passengers, with 82 routes covering all destinations in Vietnam and international routes to Hong Kong (China), Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia.
Ford dealership opens in Thai Nguyen
Vietnam inaugurated an authorized dealership in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on April 11, taking to 37 the number of its dealerships in the country.
Thai Nguyen Ford covers 10,000 square meters on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in Thai Nguyen City in the province of the same name. The showroom has a total area of 2,600 square meters and the workshop 5,000 square meters.
Thai Nguyen Ford is expected to service 100 vehicles a day.
Down in the south, Dong Nai Ford put a new facility in Binh Long Ward in Bien Hoa City into operation on April 9. The new facility costs VND135 billion.
Its workshop covering 4,500 square meters can provide maintenance service for 70-100 autos a day.
Isuzu Vietnam launches first Euro 4 standard trucks
The trucks introduced by Isuzu Vietnam on April 12 meet the Euro 4 emission standards.
The industry has gradually switched from using Euro 2 engines to Euro 4 ones which are more environmentally friendly. Isuzu’s Blue Power technology is used for all Forward and QRK trucks.
Only in Southeast Asia, the company’s new trucks are equipped with Isuzu Blue Power engines to improve performance, reduce noise and save fuel.
Euro 4 engines with compatible fuel helps reduce 97% of coal dust and 71% of NO2, and hydrocarbon emissions.
Vissan aims high for pre-tax profit
Riding on the better-than-expected performance last year, Vissan, a leader in meat processing in the country, has set a target of making VND179 billion in pre-tax profit.
The HCMC-based firm attained VND165 billion pre-tax profit last year, way above the VND156 billion target.
Nguyen Ngoc An, general director of Vissan, said at the firm’s general meeting on April 11 that Vissan would be able to make VND4.6 trillion in revenue, up 18% year-on-year, and VND179 billion in pre-tax profit, up 8% against last year.
The company will expand outlets, convenience stores and other sales channels. An said Vissan will have five more stores selling fresh products, develop mobile sale platforms, restore sales at traditional wet markets and gain a bigger market share for processed food in the countryside.
The company plans to set up a livestock farm in Binh Duong Province to boost supply.
A report released at the general meeting showed that in 2017 Vissan’s total sales revenue amounted to some VND3.9 trillion, making up just 86% of the plan. Its post-tax profit was about VND130 billion, up 143% against 2016.
The dividend was 7% in 2017, equivalent to over VND56.6 billion.
Enterprises decry high seafood origin certification fee
Local enterprises have decried the VND700,000 fee charged by fishing port operators for certifying the origin of each catch of aquatic products, demanding that the fee be slashed to VND200,000, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reports.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has written to the Ministry of Agriculture objecting to the fee.
VASEP said the certification fee, imposed in accordance with Circular 230/2016 of the Ministry of Finance, goes against the principle that fee collection is meant to cover costs because the cost of certifying the origin is small.
Vietnam’s seafood catch is required to have the origin certified after the European Commission issued a yellow card against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. VASEP said the Government has sought to lower costs for enterprises, so the fee should be revised down to VND200,000 a batch only.
Besides, port operators should fully perform their mandate to issue origin certificates as required, said VASEP. In fact, several port operators have failed to carry out that mandate as they are short of personnel as well as essential equipment like scale, computer, or photocopier, which renders enterprises helpless in the process of completing legal procedures for seafood export.
A lot of Vietnam seafood shipments to the European Union have been delayed due to the lack of required documents. Consequently, many enterprises have had to compensate or have their contracts cancelled because of delays.
Banks cut deposit rates
Many banks have slashed deposit interest rates by 20-40 basis points given their ample liquidity, Tien Phong newspaper reports.
Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Bank (VPBank) has lowered rates by 20 basis points for deposits of less than six months, 30 basis points for six- and seven-month tenors, and 40 basis points for savings of between eight and 11 months. This is the third deposit rate cut of VPBank in two months.
Vietnam International Bank (VIB) also adjusted down its rates last month. The rate for savings of one to three months is now 5.1%, down 30-50 basis points against January, while six-month savings get a rate of 6-6.3% depending on the size of deposit, a decline of 20-40 basis points.
At Military Bank (MB), the rate for six-month deposits is now 5.5%, down from 5.7% in early February. Meanwhile, the rate for the 12-month term is kept unchanged at 7.2%.
The deposit rates are even lower at commercial banks with State holdings. The Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) has reduced the rate ceiling for six- to eight-month savings by 50 basis points to 4.8%. However, the rates for most long-term tenors from 12 months to less than 36 months are unchanged at 6.8-6.9%.
The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) also revised down its rates twice last month. In the first reduction, the rate for one- to two-month savings was down by 20 basis points.
In the second adjustment last month, BIDV cut the rate for deposits of 364 days and 13 months by 10 basis points. The bank’s current rates for savings of one to two months and longer than 12 months are 4.1% and 6.8-6.9% respectively.
In general, banks tend to reduce their rates for short-term deposits by 20-40 basis points. The rates are 10-30 points higher than late last year.
It is noteworthy that the difference between the rates at joint stock banks and State-owned banks is as high as 50-90 points for tenors of less than 12 months.
According to the National Financial Supervisory Commission, the loan-to-deposit ratio last month was 88.2%, up from 87.8% late last year. Liquidity in the banking system is ample as the State Bank of Vietnam has bought huge amounts of foreign currencies and the disbursement of capital raised from Government bond sales is slow.
Capital mobilized from economic organizations and individuals in the first quarter of the year rose 3% over the end of last year and was higher than the average last year (2.6%). In addition, credit growth in the first three months of 2018 was reported at 3.5% against late last year while the rate was 4.3% in the same period last year.
The interbank market also saw a plunge of 0.47-1.2 of a percentage point in deposit rates for overnight, one-week and one-month tenors to 0.83%, 0.98% and 1.73% respectively.
Three economic and industrial zones get new financial boost
The Government has set aside a near US$1 billion budget in the 2016-2020 period to develop infrastructure for economic and industrial zones, news website Lao dong reports.
Under the Prime Minister’s Decision 351/QD-TTg, infrastructure will be developed for coastal economic, border economic, industrial, high-tech and high-tech agriculture zones to facilitate investment and foster technology development and application at a total cost of almost VND21 trillion in 2016-2020.
By 2020, 200-250 kilometers of road, water drainage and wastewater treatment systems with a daily capacity of 13,000-14,000 cubic meters, technical and social infrastructure of resettlement areas covering 150-200 hectares will be built.
The PM assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to work with the Ministry of Finance to draw up a plan for allocating capital to the projects under the decision.
HCMC launches Innovative Startups in Tourism
Saigon Innovation Hub has announced a contest for innovative startup projects in the tourism sector with an aim to have scores of feasible projects to get financial support annually for commercialization.
According to the organizer, the contest is to be made an annual event to look for startup projects with sound solutions, feasible products and high technological contents aligned to the city’s tourism development.
The HCMC Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Tourism will jointly organize the HCMC Innovative Startups in Tourism (HIST) in 2018.
Those projects participating in the Innovative Startups in Tourism will have a chance to get funding from the city’s program for supporting startups projects called SpeedUp. Startup ideas about travel, accommodation, tourist transport, and payment for the sector among others will be given priority in the program.
The projects will be evaluated based on factors such as novelty, innovation, technology application, economic efficiency, and social impact. The organizer expects to have some 40 projects presented to judges, and then 20 projects will go to mentoring and training rounds.
Apart from awards for projects in the final round, the organizer will take the five best projects into consideration to fund up to VND2 billion from the SpeedUp program of the HCMC Department of Science and Technology. The final round will take place in October 2018 on the occasion of the HCMC Innovative Startups in Tourism Week.
Saigon Co.op to open 50 more convenience stores
Saigon Co.op, the country’s leading retailer, will open an extra 50 Cheers in convenience stores in HCMC in partnership with NTUC FairPrice of Singapore this year, said Nguyen Thanh Nhan, general director of Saigon Co.op.
At a 2017 review meeting of Saigon Co.op last week, Nhan said Cheers stores would sell household and consumer goods and operate 24/7. In HCMC, there are already two Cheers stores.
Besides Cheers, Nhan said this year Saigon Co.op would open 19 more Co.opmart supermarkets, two more Co.opXtra stores, 150 more Co.opSmile shops and at least one more Co.opmart hypermarket in a high-end residential area.
To maintain its position as Vietnam’s leading retailer, Saigon Co.op must focus on expanding the retail network, diversifying products and developing logistics, said Nhan.
Saigon Co.op is expected to achieve a 10% increase in total revenue.
A report released at the meeting showed that in 2017 Saigon Co.op made some VND30,000 billion in total revenue and Co.op Xtra enjoyed export growth of 30%.
Customs officers implicated in fuel smuggling case in Binh Thuan
Smuggling activities of Duong Dong Hoa Phu Co. in the south-central province of Binh Thuan were helped by officers at the provincial customs department, according to a local newspaper.
A Tuoi Tre Online report said the Supreme People’s Procuracy has finished an indictment alleging that 12 were involved in the fuel smuggling case in Binh Thuan.
The volume of smuggled fuels amounted to hundreds of thousands of tons and was worth over VND2 trillion. The case has been transferred to the People’s Court of Binh Thuan Province for trial.
Dinh Huu Thuy, who was in charge of inspecting import shipments of Duong Dong Hoa Phu Co., has been charged with taking bribes and Le Van Vinh, Thuy’s colleague, with abusing position and power while on duty, said the report.
Thuy admitted receiving VND12 million from Nguyen Tuan Anh, an employee of Duong Dong Hoa Phu Co., in each import shipment inspection. Thuy kept VND3 million for himself, handed over VND3 million to Vinh and the remainder to a team at the department.
Thuy took almost VND150 million in total from Anh, according to the report.
Investigators at the Ministry of Public Security found that Vo Van Toan, director of the customs department, Ta Hung Dung, deputy director of the department, and Luu Trong Vu, head of the team that got money from Thuy, failed to supervise and monitor their staff’s work.
An interdisciplinary team headed by the investigative force of the Ministry of Public Security inspected BTS Christina tanker, owned by BTS Tankers in Singapore, on January 29, 2016 and found A92 gasoline was being pumped from the ship to the storage tank of Duong Dong Hoa Phu Co. in Tuy Phong District.
Inspection results showed the company formally declared import of over 1,800 tons of gasoline. But at the time of inspection, BTS Christina was found to be carrying 9,300 tons and more than 3,200 tons had already been pumped from the vessel. The inspection team concluded that Duong Dong Hoa Phu Co. had smuggled over 7,200 tons of A92 petrol, worth VND155 billion.
Between October 2015 and January 18, 2016, Duong Dong Hoa Phu Co. was found to smuggle in some 100,000 tons of fuel worth over VND2 trillion. Of these, the company sold more than 120 million liters of fuel, generating revenue of over VND1.3 trillion.
Nguyen Duc Manh, chairman and general director of the company, was identified as the one who signed fuel import documents.
Philippine national Romels Pagente Aleria, captain of BTS Christina, has also been prosecuted for allegedly illegally transporting goods across borders, said the news report.
The report quoted the indictment as saying that Romels Pagente Aleria transported more than 7,200 tons of A92 petrol worth nearly VND155 billion, which was different from what was declared in import documents.
Vietnam’s sticky rice price takes sudden nosedive
The sticky rice price in Long An Province has suddenly dropped to VND9,600 per kilo from VND11,000 around 10 days ago due to a sharp fall in Chinese purchases, delivering a blow to traders and exporters, news website Vietnamplus reports.
Dang Van Thanh, CEO of Viet Thanh Limited Co., said 80-90% of sticky rice output has been exported to China via border trade. But in the last two weeks, all orders by Chinese importers have been suspended, resulting in a commercial sticky rice price slump, Thanh added.
Traders had earlier placed deposits of VND4-5 million per hectare of sticky rice to guarantee purchase of the imminent crop from farmers at VND6,100 per kilo, and are now facing huge losses as the market price tumbled to only VND5,300 per kilo when harvest comes.
In recent years, the demand for sticky rice has been running high, propping up prices and leading farmers in Long An Province and elsewhere in the Mekong Delta to expand cultivation of this commodity.
According to statistics of Long An’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the winter-spring crop, there was 85,000 hectares of sticky rice with average output of eight tons per hectare.
Chinese importers suddenly stopped buying it, hitting Vietnamese exporters and traders hard, while farmers saw their harvested crop piling up.
If traders choose to buy all output as agreed, they would lose VND800 per kilo. If they choose to abandon their deposits of VND4-5 million per hectare, their losses would average out at VND500 million to VND1 billion given the large area under contract.
Nguyen Ngoc Long, owner of Ngoc Long enterprise, said given the volatile sticky rice price, Vietnamese exporters have suspended buying sticky rice from traders and farmers while waiting for the price to rebound.
Long proposed the Government and relevant agencies to lend a helping hand in finding new markets.
RON 95 petrol still has no base price
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has yet to announce the base price of RON 95 gasoline as stipulated in Government Decree 83 on transparency of fuel pricing and as required by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.
In the latest adjustment of fuel prices late last week, the ministry mentioned the instruction by Deputy PM Hue on announcement of the RON 95 base price in line with the law and market rules.
Fuel experts earlier proposed the ministry make known the base prices of all fuels after RON 92 gasoline was banned from the market early this year.
However, the ministry just put the average price of RON 95 petrol on global markets in the first quarter of the year at nearly US$80 per barrel, up US$3.76 or 4.94% year-on-year. The ministry also encouraged fuel traders to raise the selling price of RON 95 by a maximum of VND526 per liter from the current price.
Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), the country’s biggest fuel trader, then increased the RON 95 price by VND520 per liter last Saturday.
The ministry can use global prices, taxes and fees as a basis to calculate the base price of RON 95.
Nguyen Tien Thoa, chairman of the Vietnam Valuation Association, said the ministry’s protracted delay to publicize the RON 95 base price runs counter to the Government’s directive and affects the interests of local consumers.
Why the ministry has persistently refrained from making known the RON 95 base price remains a mystery.
Bao Viet Holdings’ 2017 net profit up 37%
Bao Viet Holdings recorded consolidated net profit of VND32.7 trillion ($1.5 billion) in 2017, representing 113.4 per cent of its annual plan and up 37.6 per cent, according to its latest financial report. It yet again holds the leading position in Vietnam’s insurance market.
Total assets as at December 31, 2017 were VND91.4 trillion ($4 billion), up 25.2 per cent, while owners’ equity was VND14.4 trillion ($631.7 million), up 5.7 per cent against the end of 2016. After-tax profit on charter capital stood at 15.1 per cent.
Its stock (BVH) was one of the most stable in the VN30-Index. In the opening months of this year it increased sharply, closing at VND107,000 ($4.70) on April 9, for capitalization of over $3 billion. With stable business results, large capitalization, and high trading volumes, BVH has become a popular destination for cash flows from long-term investors and international investment funds.
Life insurance grew strongly, with total revenue at more than VND22 trillion ($1 billion). This was the second consecutive year Bao Viet Life has led the market, holding the Number 1 position in terms of market share of new revenue and total revenue. Bao Viet Life was also named Best Life Insurance Company in Vietnam by the prestigious World Finance magazine.
The non-life insurance sector surpassed its revenue target, reaching nearly VND10 trillion ($438,730). Some businesses grew handsomely and contributed significantly to new insurance revenue, such as motor vehicle insurance (up 29.8 per cent), voluntary health insurance, and fire insurance and special risk insurance (up 24.6 per cent).
The securities sector saw remarkable success in brokerage revenue. The Baoviet Securities Company (BVSC)’s brokerage market share was approximately 5 per cent, up nearly 40 per cent compared to 2016 and putting it in the Top 5 companies with the largest market share on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HSX) for two consecutive quarters.
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