VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 14

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Market opens week on negative note

VAT cut expected to boost Vietnam's economy hinh anh 1

Shares inched lower on Monday morning as bank stocks and real estate stocks were weighed on by a strong selling force.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the market benchmark VN-Index fell 12.39 points, or 0.83 per cent, to 1,489.32 points.

The market’s breadth was negative with only 119 stocks increasing, while 317 stocks declined. Meanwhile, liquidity was jumped compared to the last trading session.

There was over VNĐ14.7 trillion (US$650 million) pouring into the southern market, equivalent to a trading volume of 474.1 million shares.

The index’s downtrend was mainly driven by big losses in bank stocks. The VN30-Index, tracking the 30 biggest stocks on the HoSE, posted a drop of 18.19 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 1,527.73 points.

Of the VN30 basket, only six stocks climbed, while 23 slid and one was unchanged.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index also edged down 2.42 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 424.47 points.

Insurers expect recovery in premium revenue growth

With the current push in digital transformation, experts from SSI Securities Corporation believe that E-insurance certificates will gradually be legalised for other insurance products, such as health insurance and property damage insurance. Therefore, sales through online channels will also gradually grow.

Besides being a key driver of the recovery in demand, premium revenue growth could come from partnering with fintech companies to boost innovation in data analysis, helping insurance companies diversify products and distribution channels in the future.

Previously, premium revenue growth was hit hard by strict social distancing orders.

Data from SSI show that in the third quarter of 2021, gross written premium (GWP) and new business premium (NBP) of life insurance recorded the lowest growth rate ever, up 8.5 per cent year-on-year and negative 10.5 per cent, respectively.

Non-life insurance premium revenue decreased by 12 per cent compared to the same period of 2020.

Some stages in the life insurance sales process such as health checks and buyers’ direct signatures have been interrupted during social distancing, affecting revenues of life insurance businesses.

For non-life insurance, the demand for auto insurance, personal accident insurance and travel insurance, which normally contribute about 50 per cent of total premium revenue, was low during the period.

Hai Duong to host first-ever carrot harvest festival

The northern province of Hai Duong will organise its first-ever carrot harvest festival in Duc Chinh commune of Cam Giang district on February 15, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Quan said.

The event aims to promote the quality, brand and consumption of Hai Duong carrots at home and abroad.

Visitors will be able to take part in carrot harvest, visit carrot growing areas and processing establishment and attend a parade at Tam Phu temple in Duc Chinh commune, and more.

The festival is hoped to offer a chance for domestic and foreign businesses to meet and explore Hai Duong’s incentives in agriculture, therefore building a value chain for the province’s staple in a sustainable manner.

Carrots are primarily planted in the province’s Cam Giang and Nam Sach districts, as well as Chi Linh city.

Shares to move up, heading to 1,550-1,600 points

Experts forecast that the stock market is entering an uptrend period after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, as experienced from historical statistics in previous years.

The market benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) lost 0.34 per cent, to finish Friday at 1,501.71 points. It had gained 1.54 per cent last week.

An average of 684.7 million shares were traded on the southern exchange during each session last week, worth VND21.9 trillion (US$965.3 million).

According to SSI Securities Joint Stock Company (SSI), the VN-Index is likely to enter an uptrend towards the target zone of 1,537 points and further to 1,550-1,600 points.

Experts from Saigon – Hanoi Securities Joint Stock Company (SHS) said that Viet Nam’s stock market opened the Year of the Tiger successfully with a spur by stocks in the sectors of steel, aviation, and oil and gas.

According to statistics, the market increased five out of six times in the 2016-21 period around three months after the Tet holidays, only recording a loss in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, in the next trading week from February 14-18, VN-Index may continue to increase to move towards higher thresholds when the cash flow is forecast to return to the market stronger than last week.

Lang Son Province stops receiving fruit trucks from Feb 16

The People’s Committee of Lang Son Province, on February 12, said that as container trucks carrying export goods were being congested at border gates in the province, the provincial Department of Industry and Trade had announced that from February 16 to the end of February 25, the province would temporarily stop receiving vehicles carrying fresh fruit products to the provincial road border gates to export to China to minimize losses for people and enterprises.

At the same time, it recommended that the departments of Industry and Trade of provinces and cities which export fresh fruit products to China through Lang Son Province widely inform enterprises and traders about this decision.

By the end of February 11, the total number of container trucks waiting for export at the three border gates of Huu Nghi, Tan Thanh, and Chi Ma of Lang Son Province was 1,646 vehicles. Of which, there were about 1,400 trucks carrying fresh fruits. Meanwhile, only about 70-90 vehicles were successfully passed customs clearance per day. Along with that, trucks carrying goods from the inland to the border gate area to wait for exporting tend to increase by 160-180 vehicles per day, mainly fresh fruits.

Reference exchange rate up 6 VND at week’s beginning

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at 23,096 VND/USD on February 14, up 6 VND from the rate on the last working day of the previous week (February 11).

With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,789 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,403 VND/USD.

The opening-hour rates at commercial banks rose.

At 8:40am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,510 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,820 VND/USD, both up 10 VND from February 11.

BIDV raised the buying rate by 20 VND to 22,550 VND/USD and the selling rate by 15 VND to 22,830 VND/USD.

During the week from February 7-11, the daily reference exchange rate was down on Monday but then followed an upward trend in the next three days before turning around to drop on Friday. It ended the week up 9 VND compared to the beginning of the week.

US$75 million to be spent for railways upgrade, renovation

Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) has just petitioned the Ministry of Transport for allocating costs of repairing, renovating and upgrading unsafe bridges and separate traffic at intersections between roadways and railways on bridges from 2022 through 2023.

According to VNR, there are still 428 unsafe bridges that have expired or are not conformable with regulations and standards on the national railway system.

Of which, the North-South railway route has 87 bridges under the unsafe situation, including 55 bridges at the Da Nang- Quy Nhon section and 32 other bridges at Quy Nhon-Saigon section, which need to be replaced and repaired. Besides, there are three bridges between roadway and railway intersections being bridges of Luc Nam (Bac Giang Province), Long Dai (Quang Binh Province) and Pho Luu (Yen Bai Province) in dangerous and unsafe conditions.

Therefore, the railway sector proposed allocation of around VND1,700 billion (US$75 million) for renovation, replacement of 87 unsafe bridges and implementation of works to separate railway and roadway traffic with three above-mentioned bridges.

Fund management market accounts for 5 per cent of GDP

The scale of the fund management market accounts for around 5 per cent of GDP, thus there is still much growth potential in 2022.

This means the total value of assets under the management of fund management is still modest compared to some countries in the region such as Thailand at 38 per cent and Malaysia at 50 per cent.

By 2030, the scale of the fund management market is forecast to reach 6-10 per cent of GDP.

Since the inception of the first fund management company in 2003, the number of investment funds has increased sharply to 70 funds.

The legal framework for the operation of fund management companies and investment funds has been continuously improved along with new types of funds such as open-ended funds, ETFs and real estate funds.

According to many experts, fund management and asset management activities in developed countries have become an effective investment channel and contribute to the sustainable development of the stock market. They said investing through the funds reduced risks for investors.

Binh Phuoc to perform Minh Hung 3 industrial zone

The People’s Committee of Binh Phuoc Province has just approved the construction planning project of 1/2000 scale of the second phase of Minh Hung 3 industrial zone expansion.

Accordingly, the Minh Hung 3 industrial zone will be widened with its areas of over 577 hectares having functional zones of management center, public services, multi-sector industrial park, warehouses, sports area and infrastructure area supplying electricity, water and wastewater treatment station, green spaces.

The set plan aimed to build an industrial park having suitable land usage and completed synchronous technical infrastructure system, zone functional areas of land usage, the coherent architectural landscape following current criteria, synchronous technical infrastructure system.

It is predicted that the number of laborers working at Minh Hung 3 industrial zone in the second phase would be reached 22,000 to 23,000.

Contractors to be appointed for North-South expy project

The Government has decided to choose contractors for consulting and construction packages of 12 subprojects of the eastern North-South Expressway project in the 2021-2025 period instead of organizing tenders.

According to the Government’s resolution, Minister of Transport and other competent officials can appoint contractors for consulting, infrastructure facility relocation, resettlement, site clearance and compensation packages in 2022-2023.

The prime minister will approve contractors for construction and installation packages of subprojects based on proposals of the Ministry of Transport and appraisals of the Ministry of Planning and Investment with a requirement that contractors must save at least 5% of the estimated investment for the packages.

The Government leader will also appoint contractors for other important packages if needed.

Vietnam’s banking sector named among fastest growing in the world

With an overall brand value growth of 49 percent, Vietnam’s banking sector is one of the fastest growing in the world, according to Brand Finance’s latest report on the most valuable and strongest banking brands globally.

Brand Finance’s list of the 500 banks with the largest brand value globally in 2022 released recently has the presence of 11 Vietnamese banks, including two new faces compared to 2021: HD Bank and SHB. The nine banks that continue to be in the rankings are Vietcombank, BIDV, VietinBank, VPBank, Agribank, Techcombank, MBBank, ACB and Sacombank.

According to the report, all Vietnamese brands in the Brand Finance Banking 500 2022 ranking have experienced growth or added to the country’s total as new entrants.

Among the brands, MBBank is one of the fastest-growing in the Brand Finance Banking 500 2022 ranking, up by a staggering 113 percent to 642 million USD. The brand has continued to innovate, particularly in the digital space by partnering with leading tech company, Software AG, to provide high speed online services for its customers.

Similarly, Techcombank (up 80 percent to 945 million USD) has invested heavily in cloud infrastructure as part of its strategy to nurture long-term relationships with clients.

In addition, the strong growth in the Vietnamese banking sector is also thanks to two new entrants to the top 500 this year, namely HD Bank (up 53 percent to 248 million USD) and SHB (up 63 percent to 211 million USD).

Newly-established enterprises surge in January

The latest GSO report showed that the whole country saw 13,000 new enterprises established in January, with registered capital of over VND192.3 trillion (US$8.47 billion), up 16 per cent in the number of enterprises and 23 per cent in registered capital month-on-month. Compared to the same period last year, these figures are 29 per cent and 24 per cent higher, respectively.

The number of businesses returning to operation also surged in all areas. This signal shows the efforts of the business community despite the pandemic, the GSO said.

Specifically, 19,100 companies returned to operation across the whole country in January, up 353 per cent compared to December 2021 and up 194 per cent over the same period last year. This brought the number of newly established and re-operating enterprises in the first month of this year total up to 32,100, surging 94 per cent year-on-year.

The average registered capital of a newly established enterprise also increased by 5.8 per cent year-on-year to reach VND14.8 billion, the report said.

If including VND343.8 trillion of additional capital registered by 5,600 operating enterprises, the total amount of additional capital registered in January was more than VND536.1 trillion, an increase of 36 per cent over the same period last year, it noted.

Bright prospects ahead for fruit and vegetable exports to US

There remains plenty of room for local enterprises to expand their market shares in the US in the future thanks to its diversification in distribution systems and the openness of American culture, with local fruit and vegetables being a culinary trend, according to insiders.

With the US market home to 332 million customers, it also boasts a high per capita income and a three-million-strong overseas Vietnamese community.

Statistics compiled by the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports to the US market during the 11-month period last year surged by 33.2% on-year to reach US$203.2 million.

Six types of fresh Vietnamese fruits are permitted to enter the US market, including mangoes, longans, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and star apples.

Mekong Delta to expand shrimp – rice farming model

The shrimp – rice farming model in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta will offer farmers greater benefits when all related stakeholders work together to improve its value and protect the environment, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan has said.

Invented by farmers in the delta’s coastal areas years ago, shrimp – rice farming refers to breeding shrimp in the dry season and growing rice in the rainy season in the same fields.

The model is ideal for coastal areas where fields are normally affected by saltwater intrusion in the dry season, which does not allow farmers to grow rice.

Import and export turnover up 83 per cent during Tet

The total value of Vietnamese imports and exports reached US$3.05 billion in the nine days of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, growth of 83 per cent compared to last year’s Tet.

Exports doubled reaching $1.47 billion, accounting for 48 per cent of the total import and export value.

Imports reached $1.58 billion, accounting for 52 per cent of the total import and export value, up 68 per cent.

During this year’s Tet holiday, the main export items include phones and components, worth $631.3 million; followed by computers, electronic products and components; and machinery and equipment.

The total export value of the three largest commodity groups accounted for 76.1 per cent of the total export value.

Programme to support private firms in sustainable business development

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has signed a decision approving a programme to support private enterprises in sustainable business development in the 2022-25 period.

The major objective of the programme is to boost private businesses’ sustainable development with harmony between economic interest and cooperate social responsibility as well as environmental protection, thus contributing to completing 17 sustainable development goals in 2030.

It also aims to mobilise social resources for the growth of the ecosystem supporting the firms in sustainable business so that they can make positive contributions to job generation, improvement of living conditions for low-income people and disadvantaged groups, environmental protection and climate change response in Viet Nam.

In 2025, private enterprises’ awareness of the importance of sustainable business is expected to be improved. By the year, at least 10 tools and solutions to measure, evaluate and recognise sustainable business will be developed to support about 10,000 private enterprises, helping to reach the target of saving 5-7 per cent of total power consumption of the country and raising labour productivity by about 7 per cent annually.

All gas stations in HCMC operate as normal

All 548 gas stations in HCMC have been operating as normal, said director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Bui Ta Hoang Vu.

At a press briefing on February 11, Nguyen Thanh Trung, chief inspector of the department, said the department sent teams to inspect filling stations citywide on February 10 and 11.

The teams found two gas stations which did not open at the inspection time, of which, one was waiting its supplier to transport fuels to the gas station, while another closed at 6 p.m. while it had earlier registered to operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. However, the gas station closed early as many of its employees were infected with Covid-19, leading to a shortage of employees.

Risk of real estate fever in 2022

The Ministry of Construction’s report on the real estate market has shown that the prices of real estate, houses, and land plots are still continuing to increase from the beginning of 2022 although the economy has deflated due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For instance, a number of projects in Ho Chi Minh City also experienced a high increase in average transaction prices in the first quarter of this year. In the first months of 2022, apartment prices have increased by 5-7 percent on average while the price of an independent property in a realty estate project increased by 15-20 percent, and land price surged by 20-30 percent over the same period in 2021.

The Ministry of Construction predicted that this may still be the beginning of a real estate fever in 2022, especially when the government has been using solutions to stimulate demand and support economic recovery after a period of decline. The move can also affect the real estate market to become hotter if the market is not well controlled.

Vung Tau City revokes 28ha of golden land in Bai Sau Beach

Mr. Vu Hong Thuan, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vung Tau City, on February 13, said that the city’s relevant agencies had worked with nine enterprises, asking them to return the 28 hectares of land in Bai Sau area before March 15.

In 1996, the People’s Committee of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province assigned the State-owned Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province Construction Company with an area of 28 hectares of land in Bai Sau area to renovate and build Thuy Van Beach with total investment capital of VND122 billion.

After construction was completed, this company rented this area of land to eight other enterprises, and these enterprises then subleased the infrastructure and land to many tourism companies but did not sign contracts. These secondary enterprises continued to sublease their premises to organizations and individuals for business. However, they have not paid land rent of more than VND320 billion for more than 20 years.

According to the conclusion of the Inspectorate of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, most of the construction works of these renters in Bai Sau are illegal or unauthorized, so they need to be removed.

Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot Expressway needs investment of nearly VND22 trillion

The Ministry of Transport has just proposed nearly VND22 trillion to build the Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot Expressway, which is expected to start construction in 2023, complete, and put into operation in 2026.

The Ministry of Transport has just submitted to the Prime Minister a pre-feasibility study report of the Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot Expressway project to evaluate and submit to the National Assembly for consideration and decision on the investment policy of this project.

According to the proposal, the Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot Expressway project starts from the intersection between National Highway 26B and National Highway 1 in Nam Van Phong Port area in Ninh Hoa Town of Khanh Hoa Province and ends at the intersection with Ho Chi Minh Bypass Road to the East of Buon Ma Thuot City at km12+450 in the territory of Hoa Dong Commune in Krong Pac District of Dak Lak Province.

The project has a scale of four lanes, with a length of about 117.5km. The section through Khanh Hoa Province is 32.7km, and that through Dak Lak Province is 84.8km.

The project is expected to build 49 bridges on the main route, seven overpasses, and three tunnels, including Phuong Hoang Tunnel with a length of 2.1km, Ea Trang Tunnel with a length of 700m, and Chu Te Tunnel with a length of 700m.

HoSE stops providing information on proprietary trading from early March

Investors would be able to access this information via purchasing accounts from data service providers.

The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) is scheduled to stop disclosing information on proprietary trading of securities companies from March 1, one of the first signs of the investment trend in the stock market.

Proprietary trading occurs when a security company trades stocks, bonds, their derivatives with the firm’s own money. A net-sell or net-buy as a result of this process would normally catch the attention of investors, as they reflect the expectation for the market in the short-term and eventually impact the supply-demand balance.

Under the new change, such information, provided by stock exchanges, would not be disclosed to investors but sold in separate service packages for information service providers.

Investors would then have to access this information via purchasing accounts from those providers.

Hanoi seeks cultural industry development in craft villages

The development of craft villages in association with the cultural industry not only contributes to preserving the thousand-year-old trades and getting rich from them, but also boosts cultural development.

Hanoi is seeking support from organizations, businesses, and individuals to promote the cultural industry in the city’s craft villages.

Chairwoman of the Hanoi Association of Handicrafts and Traditional Craft Villages Ha Thi Vinh made the statement at a meeting with Vice Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Nguyen Van Phong on February 10.

Hanoi currently has more than 1,350 craft villages, accounting for one-third of the country’s recognized craft villages. Many of them have more than 1,000 years of development associated with the formation of the capital city and practice unique trades.

Source: VNA/SGT/VOV/VNS/SGGP/Hanoitimes

Almost all manufacturing, trading activities in HCMC resume

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