Biggest Vietnamese trade fair in Myanmar to run in December

The biggest annual Vietnamese goods fair in Myanmar will take place in Yangon from December 19 to 22.

Held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETTRADE) since 2009, the event will feature about 100 stalls this year. On display will be processed foods, consumer products, equipment and machines, electric and electronic devices, medical and chemical products.

Vietnamese enterprises taking part in the fair will have their space and advertising fees covered by the organiser.

According to VIETTRADE, the event aims to promote Vietnamese businesses and trademarks to push exports of local products and expand the country’s distribution network in Myanmar.

Trade between Vietnam and Myanmar reached 860 million USD in 2018, making Vietnam the 9th largest trade partner of Myanmar. Vietnam has also become the 7th largest foreign investor in Myanmar with 18 large projects totally worth nearly 2.2 billion USD.

HCMC to host heritage preservation and economic development conference

A conference on heritage preservation and economic development will be held in HCMC on September 10-11, following the success of the first event in Hanoi in March.

The Heritage Preservation and Economic Development conference is jointly conducted by SCE Project Asia, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Consulate General of Italy in HCMC to bring insightful knowledge of heritage preservation from numerous experts to the public in Vietnam.

The conference aims to raise the awareness of the importance of preserving the architectural heritage and reusing the existing building stock, heard a press conference at the Consulate General of Italy in HCMC on September 3.

This would be a very effective approach for future urban development by offering many competitive advantages, which help preserve and enhance the local cultural and social identity, contribute to the reduction of transportation and infrastructural costs, and ease the implementation of urban smart city management and concept.

The advantages also include positive contribution to the overall energy efficiency, creation of jobs and new economic activities, and promotion of sustainable tourism development.

Preserving the architectural heritage of a nation means better quality of life for everyone, as the architectural heritage is not only a romantic memory but it indeed can become a promise of future economic and social development.

The conference is structured in three different but coordinated events.

A design workshop will be held at the University of Architecture of HCMC, organized and taught by professors of IUAV University of Venice. The workshop is open to students and will consist of an urban design exercise on a crucial preservation issue.

A technical seminar will gather local and international experts to share experiences, techniques and technologies to make heritage preservation accessible to the local construction industry operators such as institutions, architects, engineers, students of technical faculties and contractors.

There will also be a business seminar on strategic investments in heritage preservation dedicated to local institutions and real estate developers where experts will illustrate the tangible and intangible advantages for those who invest in heritage projects.

The respected line up of speakers at the conference comprises key collaborative partners, as well as top international educators, researchers and practitioners. They include Dante Brandi, Consul General of Italy in HCMC; Michael Croft, head of UNESCO Hanoi Office; and Luigi Campanale, CEO of SCE Project Asia among others.

Over 10,000 firms shut down in eight months

The number of firms shuttered between January and August has increased by 15.5% from a year earlier to some 10,600, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The GSO noted in its latest report on the national socioeconomic performance that the eight-month period saw some 9,500 firms capitalized at less than VND10 billion (US$431,000) being shut down, accounting for 90.3% of the total number of those going bust.

Some 4,300 firms went out of business in the wholesale, retail and automobile and motorbike repair sectors, making up 40.4% of the country’s closed businesses.

Following these were the processing and manufacturing industries with some 1,100 firms, or 10.8%, and construction with over 1,000 firms, or 9.8%.

During the period, more than 20,100 firms temporarily suspended their business activities, and nearly 26,000 firms are pending the completion of closure procedures.

A recent survey by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that difficulties in finding suitable markets, low competitiveness among domestic firms and products, and limited access to financial and labor resources were among the main factors behind enterprise liquidations and suspensions.

The GSO report also found that nearly 116,000 firms were newly established or had resumed operations in the January-August period, up 7% from a year earlier.

Among these, the country had roughly 90,500 startups with combined registered capital of VND1.15 quadrillion (US$49.6 billion), up 3.5% and 31%, respectively, from the year-ago period. Each had an average of VND12.7 billion (US$548,500) in capital, marking a year-on-year rise of 26.6%, the highest in recent years.

Operational firms also registered an additional VND1.603 quadrillion (U$69 billion) to finance their expansion plans, bringing the total freshly pledged capital to some VND2.754 quadrillion (US$118.8 billion) in the period.

In addition, the number of firms that reopened their doors following a suspension rose by 21.8% year-on-year to some 25,500, bringing the total number of new businesses and enterprises resuming operations within the eight-month period to nearly 116,000.

The GSO stated that most of the new firms had entered the agriculture, forestry and fisheries, industry and construction, and services sectors. They intended to employ some 832,300 people, up 13.3% compared with the same period last year.

Grab to launch GrabTaxi service in Lam Dong

Lam Dong Province's Department of Transport has given Grab Vietnam the nod to launch its GrabTaxi service in the Central Highlands province.

In line with the provincial department’s Document 1055, ride-hailing firm Grab will be allowed to deploy the mobile taxi e-hailing platform on a trial basis in the province.

Accordingly, the department has permitted the firm to install the GrabTaxi software system to connect with taxi operators in the province.

The ride-hailing firm was asked to select Dalat Taxi Cooperative for its pilot program and to report the results to the department before expanding cooperation to other taxi operators, specifically Nhan Tri Dung Trading Company, Red Star Transportation Services Company and Thang Loi Company.

To provide the GrabTaxi service in Lam Dong Province, Grab was asked to follow the regulation stipulating the firm only supply smartphone software to drivers who cooperate and sign labor contracts with transport service suppliers.

Those taxi cabs under the management of taxi transport service firms, with taxi badges granted by the Lam Dong Department of Transport, can join the GrabTaxi software system.

Besides this, Grab Vietnam was asked not to intervene in transport business operations, such as promotional policies for passengers, regulations on taxi fares and management over cabs and drivers.

Grab had earlier pledged not to increase the number of taxi cabs in the province that may put traffic infrastructure under pressure, raise taxi fares or affect the management of cabs and drivers.

HCMC seeks to develop 2,700 megawatt Hiep Phuoc thermal power plant

The HCMC government is seeking to develop the Hiep Phuoc gas-fired thermal power plant in Nha Be District, with plans calling for it to generate 2,700 megawatts when completed.

To this end, the HCMC government has proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade add the project to develop the Hiep Phuoc plant in Nha Be District to the master plan on national power development.

The plant will be developed on the site of the suspended Hiep Phuoc power plant so that the existing facilities can be utilized.

The municipal government also asked Hiep Phuoc Power Co., Ltd, to complete procedures to have the project enlisted in the national power development plan.

On May 7, the company proposed increasing the Hiep Phuoc thermal power plant’s capacity from 375 to 2,700 megawatts. After being upgraded, the plant will operate with environmentally friendly liquified natural gas.

In the first phase, the plant will have a capacity of 1,200 megawatts and be connected to 110-kilovolt and 220-kilovolt power transmission lines. In the second phase, the plant’s capacity will increase to 2,700 megawatts and be linked to the 550-kilovolt power line.

The plant will be located on the bank of the Soai Rap River, so fuels and materials can be transported through the existing port.

The now-suspended Hiep Phuoc power plant was developed under the build-own-operate format with an investment of US$280 million. It was granted an investment certificate in June 1993 and put into operation in July 1998, and powered with diesel fuel.

However, plant operations have been suspended since the end of 2011, after the investor proposed tripling the electricity selling price. The proposal was rejected.

Dong Nai Province takes charge of Cat Lai Bridge construction

The government of Dong Nai Province has been given the go-ahead to build a bridge next year to replace the current Cat Lai ferry service across the Dong Nai River between the province and neighboring HCMC.

According to an official despatch from the prime minister, the construction of Cat Lai Bridge will be aligned with the agreement between the governments of Dong Nai and HCMC on the investment models that can be used for the project and the execution of various parts of the project.

The two localities have been asked to work closely on the project, in line with prevailing regulations. Work on the bridge is expected to start next year.

Earlier, the Dong Nai government noted in its proposal that it would be unfeasible to carry out the entire project under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format as it requires roughly VND7.2 trillion (US$310 million).

Therefore, the provincial government suggested the southern metropolis undertake work on a 623-meter road section leading to the bridge in the city.

Similarly, another road section leading to the bridge in Dong Nai, which is 263 meters long, will be developed by the provincial government.

The prime minister has asked Dong Nai to take charge of the bridge’s 650-meter-long main section under the BOT format.

He also noted that if the execution of the project is unfeasible, both the BOT and build-transfer (BT) formats can be adopted. If the BT model is used, land lots awarded to the investor will be those in the province.

The BOT model is typically used for the construction of infrastructure facilities where the investor has the right to commercially operate the facility for a fixed term, after which rights to the facility must be transferred to the State.

Meanwhile, the BT model is used for the construction of infrastructure facilities where the investor transfers the facility to the State and is given land use rights for other projects in exchange, allowing the investor to recover the initial capital.

The Cat Lai cable-stayed bridge is expected to stretch some 4.5 kilometers, running from My Thuy Intersection on Nguyen Thi Dinh Street in District 2, HCMC, to Ly Thai To Street in the Nhon Trach Urban Area in the outlying district of Nhon Trach, Dong Nai.

The bridge is designed to accommodate six lanes for motor vehicles and three mixed lanes, with a maximum designed speed of 80 kilometers per hour. It is expected to ease crowding on the Cat Lai Ferry, which is a key link between HCMC and the provinces of Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The ferry service carries an average of 40,000-45,000 vehicles per day and up to 100,000 vehicles on peak days, according to the HCMC Department of Transport.

Once in place, the bridge will serve as a catalyst for the socioeconomic development of the two localities.

Dell collaborates with Lazada to promote its online business

Provider of computer products and services Dell has teamed up with ecommerce platform Lazada to promote its online business activities in Vietnam, offering a wide selection of Dell-branded laptops, computers and computer screens in the local market.

Dell announced its collaboration with Lazada yesterday, August 28. Customers can now buy various authentic Dell-branded products conveniently from a Dell Authorized Store on the ecommerce platform.

A Dell sales development representative said that the company has bolstered its online business in the local market through its initial cooperation with Lazada Vietnam’s online shopping platform LazMall.

Dell, among the top players in the PC market, will also expand its online business channel in the coming months, with the participation of retailers specializing in computers and their parts in Vietnam.

Besides this, Dell will focus on developing multifunctional computers, offering products with powerful gaming PCs for playing games while supporting users with daily office tasks such as document composition.

For gaming computers, Dell and its partner-retailers will target young customers with stable incomes, said the representative.

Speaking at an event to roll out its latest gaming laptops, Tran Duc Trung, Dell Technologies’ sales director in South Asia, pointed out that G-series 2019 gaming laptops are equipped with new hardware features to meet the various demands of gamers.

Grab cooperates with Sovico on supply chains

Singaporean transportation network company Grab Holdings Inc. and Vietnam's Sovico Holdings recently signed a strategic partnership memorandum of understanding to develop supply chains, mobility solutions and logistics projects to spur the development of the country’s digital economy.

Under the agreement, the two parties will carry out many projects and enhance research and development for suitable solutions on integrating digital platforms.

In addition, the cooperation is expected to contribute to completing delivery networks in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

The signing, which took place in Singapore, marked an important milestone in the partnership between Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing firm and one of Vietnam’s largest multisector firms.

Sovico Deputy General Director Pham Khac Dung noted that the two firms would work closely to capitalize on their advantages and strengths and seize more cooperation opportunities in various fields to elevate the quality of life for residents in Vietnam.

Besides this, both sides will focus on digitalization for the logistics, aviation and mobility solution sectors, he remarked.

The cooperation agreement will ensure significant economic growth for Grab and Sovico, according to the Vietnamese partner. In addition, both firms’ customers will enjoy more products and services.

Russell Cohen, head of Regional Operations at Grab, pointed out that as a leading tech-based firm supplying a variety of services in Southeast Asia, Grab can actively contribute to the digitalization of Vietnam for delivery, logistics and e-payments.

In cooperating with Sovico, Grab expects to have more favorable conditions for fulfilling its targets and completing its ecosystem to offer the best services and products to consumers, he stated.

Apart from the cooperation with Sovico to produce benefits for Vietnamese residents, Grab has announced its five-year investment plan, worth over US$500 million, in Vietnam to tap opportunities in fintech, new mobility solutions and logistics.

Grab and some members of Sovico, including local budget carrier Vietjet and tech startup Swift247, had earlier signed a cooperation agreement to offer a super express delivery service in Vietnam.

Hertz enters vehicle rental market in Vietnam

Hertz Corporation has announced its new franchise partner in Vietnam, making its first foray into the vehicle rental market through the local company New City Rent A Car.

The 100+-year-old brand, through its local partner, will offer Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty services, which is available in HCMC now and in Hanoi later this year.

Customers seeking short- and long-term car rentals will have a variety of choices from a wide range of luxury SUVs and sedans to car rental services, such as the Hertz Chauffeur Drive service, a door-to-door professional driver service that is convenient for airport and city transfers, providing a half-day or full-day service.

Eoin MacNeill, vice president of the Asia Pacific region, noted that this is the right time for Hertz to enter the local market due to the ongoing growth of the business and leisure markets in Vietnam.

Hertz is committed to meeting the increasing demand for car rentals, for both business travellers and tourists, across Vietnam and expects this partnership to strengthen its quality offerings in the market, according to MacNeill.

“We're thrilled to welcome New City Rent A Car to the Hertz family. The company brings invaluable knowledge of the Vietnamese culture and is well placed to meet the needs of local customers and those visiting from other countries,” MacNeill said.

Nim Vuon Phu, New City Rent A Car’s chairman, stated that as Hertz’s new franchise partner, New City Rent A Car will be able to offer travellers more car rental solutions.

To celebrate the launch, a discount of 15% for chauffeur services is available to customers who book online before September 30.

New City Rent A Car is a subsidiary of a large conglomerate in Vietnam that has business interests in the automotive, infrastructure, property and hospitality sectors.

Meanwhile, Hertz Corporation, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty vehicle rental brands at approximately 10,200 company-owned, licensee and franchisee locations throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Investors urged to release their pledged capital for expy project

Investors in the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project should deliver their pledged capital of VND3.4 trillion to speed up the long-delayed project while waiting for the disbursement from the State budget and for credit, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

The shortage of capital is currently the main hindrance to the project, so investors should inject their pledged capital into the project by next month, Deputy PM Hue stressed at a working session gathering representatives of the Government and the People’s Committee of Tien Giang Province last week.

Besides this, he reassured investors and banks that had financially backed the project that the Government will provide funds from the State budget, as pledged.

The Government had earlier pledged to extract VND2.186 trillion from the State budget to fund the project. This decision had been sent to the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee and other NA agencies on August 15 for appraisal and approval, he said.

Provincial authorities will be informed of the time for disbursement once the decision is approved, Hue confirmed.

Aside from the State budget funds, the Deputy PM asked the project’s main lender, Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), and the investors to complete negotiations on a credit contract that will provide funds for the project.

Once the decision to fund the project using the State budget is approved and the credit contract is signed, construction on the project will resume and NA deputies will stop complaining about the delays, Hue added.

Speaking at the meeting earlier, Ho Minh Hoang, chairman of BOT Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway JSC, said the lenders are appraising the project’s credit plan and have confirmed that investors have applied for loans for the project to meet the banks’ requirements in principle.

However, bank loans jointly offered by a group of lenders are currently insufficient to fund the project, since Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) has withdrawn from it, according to Hoang.

 

Accordingly, Hoang suggested VietinBank adopt measures to ensure adequate funding by calling for additional lenders; appraise applications for bank loans quickly; and issue criteria for disbursement when signing the credit contract.

Further, Hoang proposed the Government and the State Bank of Vietnam help the lenders counter obstacles related to bank loans.

SCG seeks partnership to accelerate circular economy

Siam Cement Group (SCG), a major Thai investor in Vietnam, will continue to seek partnership to accelerate circular economy, calling for joint action from all relevant stakeholders, from the government to private businesses and citizens, to reduce material use and increase recyclability.

The commitment and collaboration between the government, businesses and the people will be the decisive factor for the success of the circular economy, Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and CEO of SCG, told The Saigon Times at the symposium themed “Circular Economy: Collaboration for action” held at Centara Convention Center in Bangkok on August 26.

Referencing the petrochemical complex that SCG is creating in Vung Tau, Rangsiyopash said that SCG had to make the complex as an example of circular economy principles.

According to the leader of SCG, SCG Vietnam has been tasked with using these principles to construct the complex. SCG Vietnam has also started to engage with local institutions to mobilize public support and participation.

Rangsiyopash noted that Vietnamese youngsters are active and can adapt to the requirements of the circular economy.

This year, SD Symposium celebrates its 10th anniversary of promoting the reuse and recycling of products to cope with material scarcity.

Delivering the welcoming remarks, Rangsiyopash said that the business community should take the lead in changing the “buy-use-dispose” habit to a “make-use-return” cycle.

The opening ceremony also featured a keynote address by Amnia J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, who praised the SCG as a highly active performer in the circular economy.

The circular economy is an emerging model, and SCG is a newcomer, Rangsiyopash said.

However, thanks to its earnest approach, investments and heavy financial backing from Thai royalty, SCG is rapidly catching up with its peers, even creating its own economic principles and adapting the existing model to serve its daily business activities.

They have set up connections with 45 partners in the government, private sector and among the public, both in Thailand and abroad.

SCG has had significant achievements in redesigning and innovating products to reduce material use and durability and increase recyclability.

These achievements are showcased at the event, particularly at the product reuse kiosk, which demonstrates how the company turns a profit from using waste to create handicrafts, fuel and road construction materials.

Last year, SCG converted some 313,000 tons of industrial waste per year into renewable raw materials and turned 131,000 tons of industrial waste per year into fuel substitutes.

Speaking at the SD Symposium on forging partnerships for the circular economy, Pham Hoang Hai, Partnership Development Head of Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, discussed how quickly the stakeholders have embraced the principles of the circular economy in Vietnam.

As all three divisions of SCG---chemicals, packaging and cement production---are conducting projects in Vietnam, Rangsiyopash hoped that SCG would accelerate the understanding and use of the circular economy among its Vietnamese subsidiaries.

He said SCG Vietnam would seek collaborations from other partners in Vietnam only if these companies were prepared and committed to the process.

Firms should take caution in online export transactions: expert

Vietnamese exporters should take caution while conducting transactions with foreign partners via e-contracts, said Chau Viet Bac, deputy secretary of the Vietnam International Arbitration Center (VIAC).

At the Export Forum 2019 held by the HCMC Investment and Trade Promotion Center recently, Bac said the legal value of e-contracts is recognized in most countries in the world, including Vietnam. However, evidence on paper should be kept to prevent risks in case of disputes.

He discussed with representatives of local exporters issues in import-export contracts and solutions to international trade disputes, noting the trends of the conversion from paper-based contracts to e-contracts and online payments amid the digital economy.

Due to the development of information technology, especially the Internet, Vietnamese enterprises have increasingly used e-contracts. According to the e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 28% of Vietnamese enterprises had used e-contracts as of last year.

As a result, trade disputes have been addressed through online negotiations, mediation and arbitration, besides through the courts.

In online transactions, information will be saved automatically, saving time and costs. However, it is hard to verify the authority of employees in charge of conducting the transactions.

Rapid growth foreseen for security equipment market

The development of residential urban areas, malls, industrial smart factories, hotels, and banks has increased the demand for security equipment and technology, according to experts.

A report by Grand View Research Inc, an India- and US-based market research and consulting company, said the size of the global security market is expected to reach 167.12 billion USD by 2025.

It is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 10.3 percent during that period.

Experts believed that in Vietnam too there will be double digit growth for the next few years as the need for security continues to grow across sectors.

According to some providers of security technology, there is great demand for CCTV cameras and other security equipment from businesses.

Ly Thai Thien, a provider of security technology in Ho Chi Minh City, said businesses would increasingly need security and surveillance technology and equipment to help monitor their production and optimise operations.

“At the moment there are not a lot of smart factories in Vietnam but many manufacturers are expressing serious intentions to set them up,” Nguyen Thanh Long, CEO of Houselink JSC, said.

At SMABuilding exhibition held concurrently with the International Fire Safety and Rescue and Security Technology and Equipment Exhibition in HCM City last month, Bui Thi Huong Lan, the CEO’s assistant at TechPro, said: “According to reports we have read, the smart building market in Vietnam is expected to grow by 20-30 percent until 2030.

“Our main objective at the fair is to promote our new biometric security solutions. We are really satisfied with the results. In just one day we received more than 100 potential clients at our booth that are relevant to the smart building and home markets, including contractors.”

According to experts, in the smart building sector, demand for connected IoT products can be broken down into four main categories: smart homes, smart apartment buildings, smart commercial buildings, and smart factories.

Currently foreign brands dominate the security products market, they said.

Tran Thanh Sang, director of Toan Tin Co Ltd, which specialises in supplying surveillance cameras for businesses, said security equipment products his company installs at projects are mostly imported (mainly from Japan, the Republic of Korea and China) at the request of the investors or general contractors.

The imported devices are made by good brands and have good quality and technology, nice models and competitive prices compared to the few brands that are produced in the domestic market, he said.

He also said there is fierce competition in the market.

To survive, his company has to actively connect with contractors of large property projects, office buildings and factories that have demand for security equipment, he said.

Experts said security and surveillance are a huge necessity in developing countries such as Vietnam, and so the market is expected to grow rapidly in the time to come.

SBV to handle violation to credit activities

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) says it will closely monitor interest rates offered by credit institutions and take measures to strictly handle violations of the law, including cutting credit growth targets.

This is main part of the SBV’s new document on mobilisation interest rates of credit institutions. It was made as many commercial banks are racing to mobilise capital, luring customers with deposit interest rates of up to more than 9 per cent or 10 per cent per year.

According to economist Nguyen Tri Hieu, the central bank’s move is a timely effort to stabilise the money market and interest rates.

Hieu said commercial banks’ increase of deposit interest rates means demand for capital is rising to meet their credit growth targets.

“In the current period, this increase is made up after the central bank issued regulation of reducing the ratio of short-term capital used for medium- and long-term loans from current 40 per cent to 35 per cent by 2020 and 30 per cent by 2021," he said.

VietCapital Bank offers the highest interest rate in the local market, at up to 10.2 per cent per year for a term of 60 months, 9.5 per cent for 24-month term, 9.8 per cent for 36 months and 10 per cent for 48 months.

Meanwhile, TPBank offers a rate of 8.6 per cent per year for new deposits of VND500 million (US$21,500) or more.

Statistics of the SBV show 15 banks, nearly half of the banks in the banking system, have offered high interest rates from 8 per cent per year, much higher than that of early this year. The rates have been on an upward trend and there is no sign of cooling down, especially as the season of year-end capital supply for the economy approaches.

According to Hieu, the increase of commercial banks' interest rates has caused disadvantages for the economy. The current lending interest rate is quite high so the rising mobilisation rate will also hike the lending interest rate, making businesses, especially exporters, face difficulties in borrowing capital.

He also recommended depositors not focus too much on interest rates, but need to pay attention to other factors such as bank prestige, quality of services and accompanying utilities.

According to the SBV, several credit institutions and branches of foreign banks have adjusted deposit rates in Vietnamese dong quickly in a number of terms or promoted preferential deposit programmes, offering online savings and certificates of deposits with high interest rates.

This move has caused many potential risks, affecting the stability and development of the banking system.

To ensure the stability of the monetary market, the SBV Governor has required credit institutions to maintain a reasonable and stable deposit interest rate level, which will be suitable with their lending capacity.

BIDV to issue US$129 million bonds

The Bank for Investment and Development (BIDV) will issue bonds worth VND3 trillion (roughly US$129 million) next month, the bank announced.

The bonds are non-convertible, unsecured and eligible to be included in its tier 2 capital.

The issuance includes VND2.5 trillion seven-year bonds and VND500 billion 10-year bonds with face value of VND10 million each. The interest rate will be determined by the referenced interest rate plus 1.2 per cent for the seven-year bonds and 1.3 per cent for the 10-year bonds.

The reference rate is the average of the deposit rates of 12-month term of four banks including Vietcombank, BIDV, Vietinbank and Agribank.

The bond issuance aims to raise working capital for its mid- and long-term loan demand.

BIDV plans to disburse VND2 trillion in the industry and industrial commerce sectors, VND500 billion in the gas, electricity production and distribution, VND100 billion in the construction and VND400 billion in other areas.

The time to register to buy bonds is from August 27 to September 25.

Central bank stipulates special control for credit institutions

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has issued a circular regulating special control for credit institutions.

Under Circular 11/2019/ TT-NHNN, which will take effect of October 1 this year, credit institutions (excluding policy banks) that fall into one of the following seven cases will be placed under the SBV’s special control.

First are credit institutions facing a shortage of highly liquid assets at 20 per cent or more at the time of solvency ratio calculation which causes them to fail to maintain the solvency ratio for three consecutive months.

Second, the list includes credit institutions that cannot pay their debt obligation within one month of the date of maturity and have a ratio of bad debts out of the total outstanding loans at 10 per cent or more.

Third, if the Tier I capital adequacy ratio of credit institutions is lower than 4 per cent for six consecutive months while the ratio of the bad debts to the total outstanding loans is 10 per cent or more after six consecutive months, the institution will be subject to the SBV's special control.

Next, the special control will apply for institutions that cannot repay their debt obligation within three months from the date the debt obligation is due.

If the accumulated losses of a credit institution are greater than 50 per cent of their charter capital and reserve funds recorded in the latest audited financial statements, they will be subject as well.

If the capital adequacy ratio is not maintained for 12 consecutive months or the capital adequacy ratio is lower than 4 per cent for six consecutive months, the SBV will institute special control.

And finally, credit institutions will be subject to the control if they are given a weak ranking for two consecutive years according to the SBV’s regulations.

Notably, the circular also requires that when credit institutions fall into the first four cases, they must promptly report to the SBV on the situation, causes and any measures they have taken or proposal to overcome the shortcomings.

Based on the situation and risk level, the SBV’s Governor or the directors of SBV’s branches will decide whether to put the credit institution under the SBV’s special control.

Districts collect opinions on handling violations at Linh Dam, Kim Van-Kim Lu projects

Hoang Mai District in Ha Noi has collected proposals from buyers on handling violations in construction and the granting of red books at apartment projects in Linh Dam and Kim Van-Kim Lu urban areas invested by the Muong Thanh Group.

Thousands of apartment owners have lived there for many years without a red book as the state offices say this project is not eligible for the red book.

On August 29, the People's Committee of Hoang Mai District said according to the direction from the People's Committee of Ha Noi, this district required the People's Committees of Dai Kim and Hoang Liet wards and related state agencies to collect proposals from buyers on handling violations in construction and granting of red books at the CT11, CT12A, B and C apartment buildings of the Kim Van - Kim Lu new urban area developed by the Private Construction Enterprise No 1 Dien Bien Province under the Muong Thanh Group of Le Thanh Than.

Residents at HH Linh Dam apartment projects in Hoang Liet Ward have also faced similar problems. They include apartments at VP3, 5, 6 buildings of Linh Dam Peninsula Urban Area and at 12 buildings of the HH Linh Dam Apartment Complex (HH1A, B, C; HH2A, B, C; HH3A, B, C and HH4A, B, C).

A representative of Hoang Mai District People's Committee told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that the People’s Committee of Hoang Mai District was scheduled to submit to the municipal People's Committee a report on results of collecting buyers’ opinions about those issues as soon as possible.

The project of HH Linh Dam office for lease, commercial and housing complex in the Hoang Liet Ward was only allowed to cover 27 floors. However, the investor built up to 36 floors at the HH4 buildings and 41 floors for HH1, HH2 and HH3 buildings, much higher than the approved plans.

This situation also happened at the VP3 Linh Dam building in Hoang Liet Ward and CT11, CT12 buildings of the Kim Van - Kim Lu urban area in Dai Kim Ward.

Previously, the People’s Committee of Ha Dong Districts had a similar survey from hundreds of residents at the CT6 apartment building project in Kien Hung Urban Area of the Bemes Production and Import-Export JSC under the Muong Thanh Group.

The majority of residents said handling the investors was the responsibility of State agencies but it must ensure the rights of home buyers.

They said if the city’s authorities would not permit them to keep the buildings, the investor must refund buyers and also pay compensation.

The residents of the CT6 apartment building also recommended clarifying the responsibilities of individuals and organisations that had loose management and covered up violations.

The CT6 apartment building was built without a licence and had not submitted blueprints to the authorities. All the apartments had been sold.

Bemes allegedly provided customers with misleading information about the legal status of the apartments. The company claimed the apartments’ owners would be eligible for red books, or land use rights certificates, that could help lure customers to make advance payments.

However, customers still have not obtained the red books, and land authorities have denied their requests on the grounds of insufficient licencing for the properties.

Masan Group makes it into Forbes Asia 200 Best Over a Billion list

Forbes Asia has named the 200 best-performing listed companies in the Asia - Pacific region with revenues of a US$1 billion or more, and Masan Group is one of seven from Viet Nam.

The search started with a pool of 3,200 listed companies in the Asia-Pacific region with $1 billion or more in revenues in their latest financial year.

Unprofitable companies and those whose sales declined in the past five years were then eliminated. Next off the list were companies carrying long-term debt equal to or greater than half their capital and those with glaring governance or legal problems.

Contenders were ranked based on more than a dozen metrics, including average five-year sales, operating income growth, return on capital, and projected growth over the next one to two years. Those with the highest composite scores made it to the final list of 200.

The six others from Viet Nam in Forbes Asia’s inaugural Best Over A Billion list, besides Masan, are Thegioididong, Sabeco, Vietjet Air, Vinamilk, Techcombank, and Vingroup.

According to Forbes, Masan’s revenues in the last financial year topped $1.6 billion while market capitalisation was over $3.7 billion.

The company also made it to some renowned rankings in Viet Nam.

In August it was selected by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Listed Companies in Viet Nam in 2019, the seventh consecutive year it won the honour.

In June Nhip Cau Dau Tu magazine named it among the 50 Best Performing Companies in Viet Nam in 2018.

Masan is one of only 17 companies with a market capitalisation of over $1 billion.

In 2018 its after-tax profit increased by 58.4 per cent to VND4.9 trillion ($211.77 million), the highest since it listed.

Masan Consumer, its consumer goods subsidiary, traded on UPCoM in 2018 with an after-tax profit of VND2.16 billion thanks to the growth of the food and beverage categories.

According to the 2019 Brand Footprint report by Kantar Worldpanel, Masan Consumer has been among the top three manufacturers in terms of number of popular brands in urban (four major cities) and rural areas for seven consecutive years.

Its Nam Ngu is one of the two most chosen food brands in urban (four main cities) and rural areas.

In July Masan MEATLife (MML), another subsidiary, announced its mission to provide a better meat for 100 million Vietnamese consumers and plans to list on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) this year.

MML successfully launched its first fresh chilled meat product using European processing technology and standards under the “MEATDeli” brand last December.