VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS APRIL 4

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Budget revenue from foreign trade rises over 22 percent in Q1

Budget revenue from foreign trade rises over 22 percent in Q1 hinh anh 1

The State budget revenue from export and import reached 107.3 trillion VND (nearly 4.7 billion USD) in the first quarter of 2022, up 22.44 percent year on year.

This is equivalent to 30.5 percent of the year’s target, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Also in Q1, the customs sector coordinated with relevant agencies to uncover 3,706 violation cases involving over 1.28 trillion VND worth of goods, collecting over 69.9 billion VND for the budget.

Vietnam earns nearly 1 billion USD from exporting animals, animal products

Vietnam earns nearly 1 billion USD from exporting animals and animal products each year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

At present, animal products, milk and dairy products are being shipped to over 50 nations and territories, while processed chicken meat is available in seven countries and is expected to be sold in many others as negotiations are underway, and honey and bee products are being exported to 18 nations.

Vietnam Int’l Travel Mart 2022 attracts 40,000 visitors

The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2022 wrapped up in Hanoi on April 3, drawing over 2,000 businesses and 40,000 visitors.

Themed “New normal – new opportunities for Vietnamese tourism, the event attracted the participation of more than 500 firms from 52 provinces and cities nationwide and six countries and territories, in a special context as the tourism industry has experienced a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and is recovering after the country’s full reopening of tourism activities from March 15.

As many as 25 events were held in the framework of the four-day fair, including a forum on Vietnam’s tourism recovery and a workshop on tourism human resources development.

Great progress reported in settlement of suspected cashew nut scam in Italy

As of April 3, Vietnamese companies had recovered 12 out of 35 containers of cashew nuts exported to Italy whose original documents was lost, a positive progress thanks to great efforts and active support of relevant parties.

The office of Lawyer Davide Gallasso and colleagues said that Vietnamese companies have regained the ownership of 9 containers of cashew nuts via negotiations and confirmation with the buyer named in the documents that they are in fact not related to the shipment.

The lawyers tried their best to work with an Italian company named on the document, which then confirmed that it was not related to the above-mentioned 9 containers and had never purchased goods from Vietnam.

Based on that confirmation, Vietnamese businesses can change the bills of lading of those 9 containers to sell to new buyers in a very short time, minimizing losses.

In addition, Vietnamese businesses have also paid a guarantee for a shipping company to bring three other containers back to Vietnam.

Another good news in the case is that so far, Vietnamese businesses have managed to re-export 18 containers to the Netherlands and Turkey.

The lawyers has cooperated with the Vietnam Trade Office in Italy to connect with reputable overseas Vietnamese businesses in Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, and Hungary to help find new buyers in Europe. Currently, a number of partners have shown interest and are considering buying these goods.

Layer Gallasso recommended that when exporting goods, Vietnamese businesses should choose safe payment methods, learn carefully about import partners, and should be proactive in chartering means of transport to better control the original documents and goods.

According to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), through a Vietnamese broker, several cashew nut exporters had signed contracts to export 100 containers of the product to Italy, to be transported by international shipping lines Cosco, YANGMING, HMM, and ONE to the ports of Genoa and La Spezia.

The sellers reported that there were changes made to the SWIFT code in the documents of collection sent from Vietnamese banks to those allegedly representing the importer in Turkey. The Turkish banks declared the buyer is not their client and said they had sent back the documents. It is noteworthy that those banks neither specified how they had sent back the documents nor provided Vietnamese banks with bills of lading.

Meanwhile, after some documents of collection were sent to the buyer’s bank in Italy, the Italian bank replied that it had received only copies of the bills of lading, not the original versions, causing rising concerns among the exporters as the whereabouts of the original documents remain unknown. Anyone with the original documents can present them to the transporters for the release of the goods.

Property market to thrive in 2022 and coming years: Vietnam Report

Vietnam’s real estate industry has developed along with the recovery of the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, and is forecast to see brighter and more positive colours compared to 2021 and gradually return to the pre-pandemic trajectory (in 2019), according to the Vietnam Report Joint Stock Company.

The growth of this industry in the near future is mainly thanks to companies’ restructuring of their operations and their recovery from the negative impact of the pandemic, along with the support of stimulus packages.

Under the Government’s economic incentives, interest rates remain low, the disbursement of public investment is accelerated, foreign investment continue to flow strongly into Vietnam, and remittances stay stable (except for those from Russia and Ukraine).

In the short term, the Government’s economic stimulus package, no matter which area would benefit, will bring positive effects to the real estate market, thanks to the improvement of people’s purchasing power in general as well as their future income expectations, according to the Vietnam Report.

Vietnam Report quoted Knight Frank’s latest Prosperity report as saying that in the next 5 years, the growth of the super-rich in Vietnam is forecast to reach 26 percent, on par with China’s Hong Kong and Taiwan. This is the basis for many investors to continue pursuing the high-end and luxury segment in the coming time.

Reference exchange rate up 3 VND at week’s beginning

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at 23,098 VND/USD on April 4, up 3 VND from the last working day of previous week (April 1).

With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,790 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,405 VND/USD.

During the week from March 28 to April 1, the daily reference exchange rate fluctuated variably but ended the week down 51 VND from the beginning of the week.

Hong Kong remains potential market for Vietnamese exports

With export turnover to Hong Kong (China) soaring by 14.9% last year to reach US$12 billion, the region continues to represent a potential export market for Vietnamese goods, according to industry insiders.

Last year saw the country climb to be Hong Kong’s seventh largest trading partner, whilst being ranked second among ASEAN partners, with two-way trade turnover between both sides reaching US$13.62 billion.

Key Vietnamese export items to Hong Kong include processed goods, commodities in the manufacturing sector, garments and textiles, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and foodstuff.

Hong Kong has been Vietnam’s fifth largest investor among 141 territories and countries investing in the Vietnamese market, with a total registered capital of US$27.83 billion as of December 20, 2021.

The majority of capital flows from Hong Kong primarily focuses on diverse fields, including processing and manufacturing industry, real estate, garments and textiles, hotel and restaurant services, transportation, and warehousing.

Hawee M&E, Toenec Japan ink investment co-operation deal

Representatives from Vietnam’s Hawee Electromechanical Joint Stock Company (Hawee M&E) and Toenec Corporation of Japan recently signed a strategic partnership and investment agreement via online platforms.

Under the agreement, both sides have committed to fully supporting and sharing resources in the mechanical & Engineering (M&E) field as part of efforts to improve construction and management capacity through the exchange of personnel and training programmes.

Furthermore, Toenec will hold 40% of shares of Hawee M&E, and will send a number of high-quality experts with international experience to Vietnam in the near future.

Bamboo Airways continues to operate normally despite chairman’s arrest

The Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) has recently sent a report to the Ministry of Transport saying that the Bamboo Airways is still operating normally after the arrest of its chairman Trinh Van Quyet earlier this week on charge of stock market manipulation.

The arrest has not caused any turbulence within the airline so far. Its performance indicators, including on-time performance and airport slots, still remain high, as do its safety indicators.

The airline maintains its postholders for flight operations, the maintenance system, crew training and ground operations.

Its total equity is still sufficient to meet the minimum requirement for an air transport license even if Quyet’s assets are frozen.

Additionally, to date, no jet owners have requested the company to stop operations of their leased jets or demanded any lease payment.

However, the authority claimed that it had to keep a close watch on the company to ensure its stable operation, safeguarding the interests of passengers and service providers.

Ministry sets up 5 zones for agriculture, forestry, fisheries

HCM City is joining hands with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to establish five areas exclusively for agriculture, forestry or fisheries in 13 provinces at a cost of VND2.46 trillion (US$107 million) by 2025.

They will include areas for growing passion fruit, pineapple and mango in Hoa Binh and Son La provinces, timber in Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, coffee in Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Kon Tum, rice in Kien Giang and An Giang, and mango, jackfruit and durian in Dong Thap, Tien Giang and Long An.

Their targets include reducing input costs by 5-10 per cent, post-harvest losses by 5-10 per cent and increasing product value by 10-20 per cent, thus increasing incomes by 5-10 per cent for 186,280 co-operative members and other farmers participating in the project.

Viet Nam among top destinations for Indian companies

Indian companies with an ASEAN focus are highly optimistic about business growth in the region, according to “Borderless Business: India-ASEAN Corridor,” a strategic report that explores high-potential opportunities for cross-border growth commissioned by Standard Chartered.

Indian companies expect their business to increase production in ASEAN, with a more than 90 per cent projected growth in revenue over the next 12 months.

In terms of target countries within ASEAN, survey respondents consider Indonesia (61 per cent) the top market that offers the best expansion opportunities for their company, followed by Viet Nam (49 per cent), Malaysia and Singapore (46 per cent each).

The survey also showed Indian companies recognise a wide range of risks despite the opportunities. The top three identified risks were the COVID-19 pandemic or other health crises (85 per cent), a slow revival of the economy and a drop in consumer spending (73 per cent), as well as geopolitical uncertainty and trade conflicts (54 per cent).

Prices of livestock, poultry, eggs in HCM City to increase

The prices of livestock, poultry and eggs in HCM City will increase by 2-12 per cent due to rising domestic gasoline prices, from April 1.

According to the city’s Department of Finance, local businesses have asked that the proposed increase in cattle meat, poultry meat, and eggs be 2-3 per cent, 6-12 per cent, and 6-8 per cent, respectively.

The businesses said transportation costs account for the highest, about 70 per cent of the total costs.

After participating in the city’s price stabilisation programme to keep prices stable and avoid price fluctuations for two months, starting a month before Tet (Lunar New Year), businesses have registered their products and price adjustments.

The city plans to launch this year’s price stabilisation programme in April.

Sacombank 2021 profits exceed target by 10%

Despite facing difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sacombank’s pre-tax profits were worth VND12.66 trillion (US$554.16 million) last year, though after risk provisioning for loans and restructuring expenses, the actual number was VND4.4 trillion ($193.1 million).

Total consolidated assets increased by 6 per cent to VND521.12 trillion ($22.85 billion), with profitable assets increasing by 8.9 per cent.

It had total deposits of over VND464.52 trillion and loans outstanding of over VND388.22 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent that is in line with the credit quota assigned by the State Bank of Vietnam.

The bank collected nearly VND14.1 trillion ($616.52 million) worth of bad and outstanding debts last year, of which nearly VND11.8 trillion was under the restructuring project.

By selling mortgaged assets and receiving loan repayments on schedule, the bank got back more than VND22.1 trillion worth of debts, far higher than the VND10 trillion target set at the beginning of the year.

Market expected to inch higher this week

Many securities companies are optimistic about the stock market this week, as companies will soon release their first-quarter business statements and a support package worth VND340 trillion (US$15 billion) will also be disbursed.

Last week, news about the arrest of Trinh Van Quyet, former CEO of FLC Group and Bamboo Airways, hit the market’s sentiment. However, the stock market still ended the choppy week on a positive note as risk appetite improved.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the VN-Index surged 24.29 points, or 1.63 per cent, in the last trading session to break above the psychological level of 1,500 points. Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) closed last week at 454.1 points, up 4.48 points, or 1 per cent.

For the week, the VN-Index increased by 1.2 per cent, marking its third straight weekly gain, while the HNX-Index declined 1.66 per cent.

The market liquidity was improved, but still below the 20-week average.

On the other hand, foreign investors continued to be net buyers on the market last week after net bought a value of over VND1.01 trillion.

Saigon-Hanoi Securities JSC (SHS) said that the VN-Index gained for the third consecutive week with improved liquidity, showing that cash still flew strongly into the market.

Market violation cases on the rise despite fines

Although the current Securities Law includes severe penalties, the number of stock price manipulation cases is increasing, causing great damage to the market and frustration for investors.

According to Nguyen Hoang Hai, Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Financial Investors (VAFI), the recent case of FLC Group’s Chairman Trinh Van Quyet arrested for alleged stock manipulation is just one among numerous other violations in the stock market.

According to the new Securities Law, the supervision over the stock market has covered three levels, from securities companies, the Stock Exchange to the State Securities Commission.

Blockchain crucial for digital identifiers

Blockchain can play a big part in facilitating digital identifiers, improving online public services and business employment practices, a conference heard in HCM City.

Viet Nam has been focusing on researching and applying blockchain, a form of data storage and transmission technology using encryption.

Due to its transparency in data sharing, high confidentiality and trustworthiness, blockchain is being used in many industries such as finance, logistics and retail.

Do Van Long, board chairman and general director of Viet Nam Blockchain JSC, said that in recent years the Government has been focusing on promoting the usage of 4.0 technologies for digital identification.

Filip Graovac, Viet Nam Deputy Country Representative from The Asia Foundation, said that a personal identifier was crucial for societies and economies.

According to other experts at the conference, infrastructure security is crucial for this system. Users must be allowed to have control of their digital identifiers and know when who and why they are being shared.

Ad revenues at broadcasting stations fall by more than 40 per cent

Broadcast advertising revenue was estimated to decline by 40 – 50 per cent last year.

The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information report shows that Viet Nam had 78 radio channels and 198 domestic television channels last year.

Television increased by one, while radio broadcasting decreased by eight channels compared to 2020.

The revenue of broadcasting units last year was estimated at VND9.2 trillion (US$400 million).

Specifically, the broadcasting stations in provinces and municipalities achieved revenue of about VND3.9 trillion.

The stations’ advertising revenue reached VND2.83 trillion; funding provided by State agencies was VND1.28 trillion.

MWG seeks to find strategic partner for Bach Hoa Xanh

A proposal to issue private equity shares of Bach Hoa Xanh (BHX) Trading JSC will be presented to Mobile World Group’s (MWG) shareholders soon, according to the firm’s announcement.

The maximum offering rate is 20 per cent of BHX’s total share capital, and the transaction is slated to be completed in 2022-2023.

Proceeds would be used to expand BHX’s distribution network, upgrade technology, and aid the development of online sales channels. Investors across the globe (with the exception of direct rivals in Vietnam) who make the highest offer to purchase BHX shares would be suitable partners.

Foreign investment in Vietnam continues bouncing back

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse impacts, foreign investors still put their trust in the economy and investment climate of Vietnam in the new normal context, said Director of the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) Do Nhat Hoang.

A total of 4.42 billion USD of foreign investment was disbursed in the first three months of 2022, up 7.8 percent year on year, the FIA’s statistics showed.

Though the registered capital in Q1, 8.9 billion USD, is equivalent to just 87.9 percent of the figure in the same period last year, only investment in new projects declined (by 55.5 percent) while the number of new projects still increased (37.6 percent), and the capital poured into existing projects surged 93.3 percent to top 4.06 billion USD.

Foreign investment through capital contribution and share purchase exceeded 1.63 billion USD, more than doubling the figure in Q1 last year.

Foreign investment into industrial parks is likely to increase in 2022, with investors mainly coming from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and the EU, the FIA Director noted.

Higher recruitment demand felt for senior personnel

Along with the recovery of the economy, the labour market has also recorded positive signals since the beginning of this year.

According to the Recruitment Market Report 2022 published by TopCV Vietnam in February, up to 65 per cent of businesses expect to increase recruitment demand this year to make up for the shortage of workers. 71.3 per cent of enterprises have a need to recruit experienced personnel.

Businesses that do not conduct massive recruitment still need more quality employees to accelerate recovery and growth after a year of continuing to be heavily affected by the pandemic.

Businesses often partner with “headhunting” channels, which are recruitment websites and job exchanges, when looking for talented employees or senior and high-level positions. The average salary offered by businesses for a business manager is VND50-120 million ($2,200-5,200).

Finance is the field with the highest recruitment demand, with more than 80 per cent of businesses increasing recruitment demand, followed by real estate, education/training, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, and e-commerce.

Statistics from the Centre of Forecasting Manpower Needs and Labour Market Information Ho Chi Minh City also show that the demand for trained human resources accounts for 86.39 per cent, of which a university degree or higher accounts for 21.58 per cent. Human resources who are fluent in foreign languages such as English or Chinese and have many years of experience will have an advantage over other candidates.

MB reaches top spot in Vietnam’s bancassurance market

With impressive annual premium equivalent (APE) sales in February and March, MB has taken the top spot in the bancassurance market.

The life insurance industry in Vietnam currently has 19 businesses, serving about 11 per cent of the population out of 96 million people.

Among the different players in this category, MB Bank recently recorded a breakthrough in sales. According to a representative, the bank’s APE sales in February reached $4.7 million, and then $8.3 million in March. With these results, MB cements its triumph in the local bancassurance market.

CAKE by VPBank signs partnership with Dragon Capital for micro-investment product

Cake by VPBank (CAKE) ties up with Dragon Capital VietFund Management JSC (DCVFM) to launch a micro-investment option to customers under CAKE’s ecosystem.

With the newly-launched micro-investment product, CAKE’s customers can join the DC Income Plus Bond Fund under the management of DCVFM with an initial investment of at least VND10,000 ($0.44).

CAAV proposes developing third runway at Cam Ranh airport

A third runway will be needed at the Cam Ranh International Airport in Khanh Hoa Province to increase its capacity to serve 28 million passengers by 2030, said the national aviation authority.

The provincial government said the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) put forward this proposal at a meeting with the south-central province yesterday, April 1.

According to the proposal, the third runway should be built at one of three sites being 400 meters, 760 meters, and 2,050 meters away from the existing second runway. A consulting unit said the last site is the most feasible for the third runway.

Under the first plan, which requires low investment, the scale of the airport’s runways will be kept unchanged. Only the first runway needs to be upgraded and two more taxiways should be built some 2.36 kilometers away from the second runway.

As per the second plan, the first runway will be rebuilt and be 360 meters away from the second one and eight more taxiways will be developed. The upside of this plan is that the airport will be able to handle 300,000 take-offs and landings per year. However, this plan will need higher investment and more land.

Accordingly, the consulting unit suggested selecting the first plan.

HCMC to expand national highway connecting with Long An

The HCMC Department of Transport has approved a plan to expand National Highway 50 linking the city and the Mekong Delta province of Long An in the 2022-2024 period, with a total investment of nearly VND1.5 trillion.

The road expansion will start at the intersection with Nguyen Van Linh Street and end in Long An Province, with a total length of over 6.9 kilometers.

The project is aimed at boosting the connectivity between HCMC and Long An and other Mekong Delta provinces, reducing traffic congestion and accidents facing the national highway and fostering the socio-economic growth of HCMC and Long An.

ACV applies new airport entrance fees for vehicles

At major airports such as Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai and Danang, the fee is VND10,000 for the first 10 minutes for cars with no more than nine seats and trucks below 1.5 tons. The fee is VND15,000 for vehicles with 10-29 seats each and trucks weighing 1.5-seven tons, and VND25,000 for cars with 30 seats and more and trucks weighing over seven tons each.

Vehicles parked at the airports for more than 10 minutes will be subject to the previous fee levels.

The fee is VND720,000 per month for each bus, VND100,000 for each vehicle of airport staff and VND180,000 for each vehicle with fewer than nine seats of enterprises and organizations conducting business activities at the airports.

As for the 18 other airports, the lowest fee is VND5,000 for autos with no more than nine seats each and trucks below 1.5 tons each in the first 10 minutes. The fee will increase VND5,000 per vehicle in the next 50 minutes and VND5,000 in the following two hours.

The highest fee level is VND25,000, applicable to autos with 30 seats and over each and trucks weighing over seven tons each in the first 10 minutes, VND10,000 in the next 50 minutes and VND10,000 in the next two hours.

Local airlines allowed to decide domestic flight frequency

The Ministry of Transport no longer decides the frequency of domestic flights of local air carriers, meaning the frequency can be flexibly adjusted by carriers based on market demand.

According to the Ministry of Transport, carriers can operate domestic flights in line with their capacity and the availability of aviation infrastructure.

Earlier, their scheduled domestic flights had to be approved by the aviation authority.

Airlines and other enterprises in the aviation sector must apply the anti-pandemic measures of Decision 218/QD-BYT dated January 27 of the Ministry of Health and other requirements of the national anti-pandemic steering committee, the Ministry of Health and localities.

Air carriers have been selling tickets for flights during the upcoming holidays and the summer season.

Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and VASCO will make nearly 750,000 seats available, equivalent to some 4,000 domestic and international flights.

MBG breaks ground on VND300-billion electrical equipment plant

MBG Group, which lists its shares on the Hanoi Stock Exchange under the code MBG, has held a groundbreaking ceremony for an electrical equipment assembly and production plant in the An Phu Industrial Park in Phu Yen Province’s Tuy Hoa City.

The VND300 billion plant, which is set to turn out eco-friendly products, energy-efficient lighting devices, LED streetlights and solar LED lights, is among the hi-tech projects in the park.

Mien Trung Industrial JSC, a unit of MBG, acts as the investor of the project, whose first phase will be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

When in place, the plant will supply electrical lighting devices in Central Vietnam, the southern and Central Highlands regions and for export.

German firm to develop lubricating oil plant in BR-VT

Germany’s Fuchs Lubricants Co. has rented 20,000 square meters of land in the Phu My 3 Specialized Industrial Park in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province to build a new lubricating oil plant.

The projected plant will cost over US$6 million and turn out more than 6,000 cubic meters of lubricating oil per year, according to the park.

The German firm selected the site in the province due to the competitive price and its close proximity to the Cai Mep port terminal, which is handling 30% of Vietnam’s total containers for export. The land lease agreement lasts for 55 years.

EVN strengthens electricity transmission from Laos to Vietnam

The Vietnam Electricity (EVN) informed that the Project 2 Management Board (EVNPMB 2) signed two contracts providing devices, construction and installation for the project of Bo Y 220kV switching substation including 220kV power lines connecting from Nam Kong 1, 2, 3 Hydropower Plant Cluster in Laos to Vietnam’s power system and the project of 220kV Dak Ooc switching substation including 220kV power lines connecting from Nam Emoun Hydropower Plant in Laos to Vietnam’s power system.

Particularly, the project of Bo Y 220kV switching substation was started its investment and construction in Ngoc Hoi District, Kon Tum Province and it is expected to be finished and operated in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, the project of 220kV Dak Ooc switching substation will be invested and built in Nam Giang District of Quang Nam Province which is expected to be completed and operated in the first quarter of 2023.

Recently, the EVN has completed Nam Mo 220kV transmission line from Laos to Vietnam through Tuong Duong District of Nghe An Province.

Source: VNA/VIR/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP

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