Singaporean bank considers Vietnam key beneficiary of RCEP
Vietnam is likely to be a key beneficiary of the Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) regarding tariff reductions and foreign direct investment, Singapore’s leading consumer bank DBS said in a recent report.
According to the report, Vietnam’s average effectively applied tariffs on intra-RCEP trade are middle of the pack at 1.2%, lower than that of the Republic of Korea, at 4.8%, or China, at 2.8%. It noted that Vietnam is among the ASEAN economies likely to benefit somewhat from tariff reduction, given its high trade openness.
Meanwhile, the report pointed out that trade integration between Vietnam and the RCEP members is already high, and should grow tighter as companies tap RCEP benefits. Vietnam consistently imported a significant amount of goods from RCEP partners.
The report also noted that RCEP gives Vietnam the opportunity to increase exports to its partners. In addition, the pact also brings benefits to Vietnam in increasing foreign direct investment (FDI). It said “Even though Singapore continues to receive the lion share of FDI inflows, inflows into Vietnam have been trending higher, and have ranked among the top three recipients within ASEAN-6.” Vietnam continues to boast multiple advantages to attract foreign investors, the report affirmed.
Vietnam’s steel import turnover up 42.8 percent in 2021
Vietnam imported 12.3 million tonnes of steel worth 11.52 billion USD in 2021, down 7 percent in volume and up 42.8 percent in value year-on-year, according to the General Department of Customs.
The country mainly bought steel from China, with 5 million tonnes valued at 4.38 billion USD, accounting for 40.3 percent and 38 percent of the total volume and turnover, respectively.
Japan was the second largest exporter of the product to Vietnam last year. The Southeast Asian nation imported 1.9 million tonnes totaling 1.73 billion USD from Japan, down 22.8 percent in volume and up 23.8 percent in value compared to 2020.
The Republic of Korea (RoK) ranked third among the biggest steel exporters to Vietnam in 2021, shipping 1.5 million tonnes worth 1.59 billion USD to the Southeast Asian nation, up 24.4 percent in value year-on-year.
Vietnam attends Singapore Airshow 2022
The four-day Singapore Airshow 2022 began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Changi Exhibition Centre on February 15.
A delegation from the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, headed by Lieutenant General Phung Si Tan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, and Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phuoc Dung attended the ceremony.
The event is projected to host more than 13,000 trade attendees and nearly 600 companies from more than 39 countries and territories, representing over 70% of the top 20 global aerospace companies.
The show features the exhibition of new aviation products and technologies, daily aerobatic flying displays, and the inaugural “Sustainable Aviation Forum” on February 16 and 17.
HCM City’s success in containing COVID-19 helps manufacturing recover
Thanks to HCM City’s success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, industry has made a smart recovery.
According to the city Department of Industry and Trade, exports through the city’s border gate grew from 5.9 per cent in November to 8.1 per cent in December
Retail sales in January grew by 5.1 per cent to VND73.5 trillion (US$3.17 billion).
Sales of goods increased by 7.1 per cent to VND47.9 trillion and revenues from accommodation and food sales grew by 6.7 per cent to VND2.78 trillion and from tourism by 8 per cent to VND285 billion.
Exports of goods through ports increased by 6.54 per cent to $3.75 billion.
Vung Tau-Con Dao high-speed boat service resumes after pandemic hiatus
The HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA) has proposed developing a 25-kilometer sea-crossing bridge linking HCMC’s Can Gio District and Vung Tau City of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
In a document commenting on HCMC’s planning project until 2060, HoREA proposed adding the bridge to a plan to develop an eastern coastal road from HCMC to Kien Giang Province, Thanh Nien Online newspaper reported.
This is not the first time HoREA has suggested developing a sea-crossing bridge from Can Gio. At an investment promotion conference in 2019, HoREA Chairman Le Hoang Chau proposed developing the bridge.
Sea-crossing bridge linking Can Gio and Vung Tau proposed
The HCMC Department of Transport has sent a list of 13 projects to the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment along with their obstacles to be removed.
Among the 13 projects, the investment format of the Binh Tien Bridge and Road project from Pham Van Chi Street in District 6 to Nguyen Van Linh Street in Binh Chanh District with an investment of nearly VND4 trillion has yet to be decided. It could use the city’s budget or be executed under the build-transfer mode.
In addition, the execution of the transshipment inland container depot project in Thu Duc City with an investment of VND6.2 trillion will also be reported to the prime minister.
Moreover, the city will propose the government’s support for capital for the HCMC-Moc Bai Expressway and Ring Road No. 3 projects, which require an estimated investment of VND15.9 trillion and VND75.8 trillion, respectively.
These 13 projects require a total investment of more than VND175 trillion.
Gold hits over VND63 million per tael, VN-Index climbs by nearly 21 points
The increasing global gold price helped the domestic one to hit the mark of more than VND63 million per tael (1.2 ounces) again on February 15.
It was recorded in Ho Chi Minh City at about 3.30 p.m. that PNJ Company listed SJC gold at VND62.5 million per tael for buying and VND63.2 million per tael for selling, an increase of VND500,000 in the buying rate and VND450,000 in the selling rate.
At the same time, in Hanoi, Doji Group quoted the price of SJC gold at VND62.45 million per tael for buying and VND63.1 million per tael for selling, an increase of VND500,000 per tael in the buying rate and VND450,000 in the selling rate.
On the global gold market, the spot gold stood at US$1,877.9 an ounce on the Kitco floor on February 15, up nearly $19 an ounce compared to the end of last week. After conversion, this price level is about VND11.5 million per tael lower than the domestic gold price.
Banks show strong credit growth
The stock market as well as the real estate market faced a worrisome issue in 2021. Credit increased strongly, in which retail credit was preferred by banks because the risk coefficient when calculating Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) according to Circular 41/2016/TT-NHNN was lower than that of large enterprises.
In December 2021, credit continued to make a strong breakthrough. Data from the State Bank of Vietnam showed that by 22 December 2021, credit to the economy increased by 12.68 percent compared to the end of 2020; and by 31 December 2021 it had increased to 13.53 percent, reaching VND10.4 quadrillion. Therefore, in the last ten days of 2021, credit increased by 0.85 percent. For the whole month of December, outstanding loans increased by 3.43 percent, equivalent to VND253 trillion, up 38 percent compared to the total new credit level of November which was injected into the economy. For the last three months of 2021, credit increased by 6.36 percent. In Ho Chi Minh City, total outstanding credit in 2021 also reached over VND2.83 quadrillion, up 11.85 percent compared to the end of 2020. So to say, in November it increased by 2.2 percent and in December it increased by 2 percent.
Early reports of commercial banks also show that credit growth has improved. Report of financial statements for the fourth quarter of 2021, showed VietCapital Bank with credit balance in 2021 at more than VND46 trillion, up 16 percent over the previous year. As a result, the bank earned more than VND1.4 trillion of net interest income, up 30 percent compared to the previous year. According to information announced by Vietcombank, the credit balance in 2021 will reach about VND963.67 trillion, an increase of 14.99 percent compared to the end of 2020. By the end of December 2021, VietinBank showed average outstanding balance increase by 12.3 percent compared to 2020. Total credit and investment loans of BIDV reached VND1.65 quadrillion, of which credit balance reached VND1.33 quadrillion, up 11.8 percent compared to 2020. ABBANK also increased by 13.2 percent.
Vietnam Gov’t sets up task force to improve business environment
The move is expected to help Vietnam better adapt to the current development trend of Industry 4.0 and enhance economic resilience against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) on February 14 announced the creation of a task force specialized in improving the business environment and national competitiveness.
Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong would lead the task force, along with several senior officials at the ministry and three economists including Tran Dinh Cung – former Director of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), Nguyen Ba An – former Vice Director of the Development Strategy Institute, and Nguyen Thi Cuc – former deputy head of the General Department of Taxation.
Shareholders of banks enjoy fruitful earnings as stocks flourish
The banking group, one of the most favoured stock groups on the Vietnamese stock market, is yielding fruitful earnings for investors.
Plenty of businesses who have persistently held bank stocks for the last 10-20 years, even in the most difficult periods, are enjoying sweet results as this group of stocks has sky-rocketed in the last two years.
There are currently many businesses holding bank shares valued up to tens of trillions of Vietnamese dong such as Masan, Viettel, SCIC and Vietnam Helicopter Corporation (Vietnam Helicopter).
Masan Group is currently holding more than 524 million shares of Techcombank (TCB) with an initial amount of VND4.38 trillion (US$192.6 million). Meanwhile, TCB is now priced at VND53,700 per share, thus Masan’s investment value is now equivalent to VND28.15 trillion. That means Masan has made a profit of VND23.78 trillion, or over $1 billion.
In addition, Mapleleaf – a subsidiary of Masan also owns TCB shares worth VND9.37 trillion.
Cainiao P.A.T. Logistics Park in Long An debuts in the second quarter
Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, has announced that its new Cainiao P.A.T. Logistics Park in Long An will be ready for operation in the first half of the year. The launch of the 110,000sq.m warehouse space comes as the country sees a surge in demand for local goods and a growing need for warehousing.
Located in Ben Luc District of Long An Province, the Cainiao P.A.T. Logistics Park is at a strategic location that offers direct access to the country’s key business hubs, such as the Mekong Delta – which accounts for 20 per cent of the global rice trade – and Ho Chi Minh City, one of Vietnam’s major economic centres.
Collective economy gradually established in national economy: PM
A national teleconference was held on February 15 to review the 20-year implementation of the Party Central Committee’s resolution on the collective economy and the 10-year enforcement of the Law on Cooperatives.
According to a report delivered at the event, the collective economy and cooperatives have recorded new strides in quality and quantity development, managed to address lingering weaknesses, and increasingly affirmed their development potential and prospects.
However, there remain many problems in the collective economy, which has yet to fully optimise its potential, the report noted.
There were 27,445 cooperatives and cooperative alliances nationwide in 2021, up 41 percent from 2013, employing about 1.1 – 1.2 million workers per year. In 2020, each cooperative earned about 4.3 billion VND (188,900 USD at the current exchange rate) in income and 314 million VND in profit on average, up 61 percent and 88 percent from 2013, respectively.
Land area for Long Thanh International Airport to be cleared in Q2
The total land area for Long Thanh International Airport project will be cleared and handed over in the second quarter of 2022 to ensure the construction schedule.
Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan and Deputy Chairman of Dong Nai People’s Committee Vo Tan Duc on February 11 worked with departments, Long Thanh People’s Committee, and the investor – Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) – on the project.
Tuan emphasised that the project is of national importance and proposed accelerating site clearance. He asks the ACV to quicken the completion of procedures.
According to the Long Thanh district’s authorities, they have already approved the compensation plan for affected households, covering an area of over 2,300 hectares out of the total area of 2,900ha, while the remaining 281ha are now being worked on.
Dong Nai has so far handed over nearly 1,500ha out of the total 2,500ha to serve the construction of the airport’s first phase. Drilling and surveying will be carried out this month.
Spainish GS Inima Environment acquires 30 per cent stake in Phu My Vinh industrial water supplier
GS Inima Environment, the water treatment business of Spain-based GS Engineering and Construction Corporation (GS E&C), earlier this month bought a 30 per cent interest in Vietnam’s Phu My Vinh Construction & Investment JSC (PMV) based in Long An Province.
Positioned as one of the companies with the largest number of plants in terms of concessions, GS Inima acts as a global benchmark in the water sector, specialising in environmental activities associated with the integral water cycle.
The tie-up deal highlights the company’s aim to penetrate the Southeast Asian water treatment industry, particularly Vietnam, following its entrance into the South American and Middle Eastern sectors.
Specific ownership stakes in PMV include 30 per cent held by GS Inima and 30 per cent held by Malaysian water treatment company RBC Water, with individual Vietnamese investors holding other 40 per cent interest.
Ministry of Transport speeds up public investment in 2022
Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has signed instructions to fast-track the disbursement of public investment for transport projects in 2022.
The minister asks heads of units, investors, project management boards, and relevant agencies under the ministries to solve all challenges and difficulties faced by projects to quicken constructions and public investment disbursement, while strictly controlling their quality so as to fulfil at least 90 per cent of the public investment disbursement target for transport projects by the end of the year, and 100 per cent by the end of January 2023.
The leader of the transport sector also requested to take regular fact-finding trips to project sites and work with localities to deal with possible problems occurring during the construction.
According to the ministry, it disbursed over VND37.17 trillion ($1.62 billion) in 2021, meeting 85.6 per cent of the target.
Hai Duong firm cooperates with Indian partners on large-scale pharmaceutical project
Leaders of Hai Duong on February 15 witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between local firm Dai An Urban-Industrial Zone Development Corporation JSC and Indian partners – Sri Avantika Contractor LTD and SMS Pharmaceuticals LTD – on developing a Pharmaceutical Park project in the northern province.
The province is asking for permission to build a special industrial zone, he said, pledging to give best support to investors.
E-commerce forecast to make breakthroughs this year: experts
E-commerce is projected to continue thriving and creating a momentum for economic growth in 2022, according to experts.
It also opens up chances for Vietnamese firms to build new business strategies and access modern distribution channels in a bid to expand market and recover in the post-pandemic period.
To facilitate e-commerce’s development, Dang Hoang Hai, Director of the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the IDEA will expand the virtual programme promoting Vietnamese products and arrange training on e-commerce for firms nationwide.
The agency will work to complete an e-payment system and improve quality of transport and delivery services, strengthening consumers’ trust in e-commerce in the 2022-25 period.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau strives to attract investment projects from RoK
The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau is developing infrastructure in its industrial parks in a bid to attract more investors from the Republic of Korea (RoK).
According to the Management Board of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Industrial Parks, the province is home to 124 FDI projects invested by Korean businesses with a total registered capital of over 5 billion USD. Up to 70 percent of the registered capital has been poured in the processing and manufacturing industries.
The Korean business community wanted the province’s support in some problems relating to procedures for arrears and payment of land use tax and assisting enterprises in receiving tax refunds.
Pham Viet Thanh, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said the province will strive to settle the above-mentioned issues soon. He also pledged to focus on improving infrastructure in industrial parks to welcome foreign investors.
5.7 trillion VND wind power plant inaugurated in Soc Trang
A wind power plant built at a cost of nearly 5.7 trillion VND (250.5 million USD) was inaugurated in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang’s Vinh Chau township on February 15 after more than one year of construction.
Invested by the Soc Trang Energy JSC, the facility spans close to 90ha in the coastal alluvial area and about 3ha inland in Vinh Hai commune.
With a designed total capacity of 120 MW, the project has two phases. The first one valued over 1.4 trillion VND has been completed, resulting in the operation of seven turbines capable of generating 30 MW of electricity.
The total output of phase 1 is 105 GWh per year and phase 2 is 312 GWh per year.
Fertiliser exports soar 682 percent in January
The value of Vietnam’s fertiliser products shipped overseas skyrocketed by 682 percent in the first month of 2022 against the same period last year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Meanwhile, the country spent 153.6 million USD on importing over 322,000 tonnes of fertilisers in January, representing annual increases of 81.7 and 0.2 percent, respectively.
Vietnam mainly bought fertilisers from China, with 137,430 tonnes worth 57.6 million USD during the month, accounting for 42.6 percent and 37.5 percent of the country’s total import volume and turnover. Compared to December 2021, the volume decreased by 18 percent and the turnover was down 12.7 percent.
Vietnam eyes to be responsible, sustainable food supplier: Minister
Vietnam aims to become a transparent, responsible and sustainable global supplier of food and foodstuff, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said in a signing ceremony for a cooperation deal between his ministry and the WWF in Hanoi on February 14.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Strengthening cooperation in agricultural development and 2022 – 2026 One Health Partnership on Prevention of Zoonotic Diseases”.
Addressing the event, Minister Hoan reiterated Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s COP26 commitment on turning Vietnam into a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. To this end, the country aims to promote the efficient use of land and natural resources and agricultural inputs.
The ministry wants to foster comprehensive partnership with WWF in multiple areas, including forestry and wildlife protection, ocean (fishery and ocean plastic waste management), irrigation, natural disaster risk management, rural development, food security, agricultural trade, environment protection, climate change and biodiversity, he said.
WWF will be among the government’s strategic partners in conservation in the next decade, the minister emphasized.
Car sales in Vietnam down 34 percent in January
As many as 30,742 cars were sold in Vietnam in January, a decline of 34 percent compared to the previous month, according to a monthly report issued by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) on February 15.
Of the sold units, 25,279 were passenger cars, down 31 percent year-on-year; 5,177 were commercial vehicles, down 44 percent; and 286 were special-purpose vehicles, down 53 percent.
Sales of domestically assembled cars reached 17,782 units in January, a month-on-month decrease of 31 percent, while imported completely-built-units (CBUs) were 12,960 units, down 38 percent.
A 50 percent reduction in registration fee, which came into effect in December 2021 and will last until the end of May this year, was a reason why customers preferred domestically assembled cars.
However, experts said these figures did not fully reflect the situation in Vietnam’s automobile market, as they did not include sales of brands such as Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
HCM City’s success in containing COVID-19 helps manufacturing recover
Thanks to Ho Chi Minh City’s success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, industry has made a smart recovery.
According to the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, exports through the city’s border gates grew from 5.9 percent in November to 8.1 percent in December
Retail sales in January grew by 5.1 percent to 73.5 trillion VND (3.17 billion USD).
Sales of goods increased by 7.1 percent to 47.9 trillion VND and revenues from accommodation and food sales grew by 6.7 percent to 2.78 trillion VND and from tourism by 8 percent to 285 billion VND.
Exports of goods through ports increased by 6.54 percent to 3.75 billion USD.
Vietnam expects official export of durian to China
Vietnam has completed negotiations on quarantine and is waiting for a licence on the official export of durian to China. This will help Vietnamese durian have sustainable consumption, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
China is still the largest export market of Vietnamese durian, but this fruit product is mainly exported to China via border gates. Vietnam has not yet been permitted to officially export durian fruit to the market.
China is no longer an easy market. To promote sustainable agricultural product exports, the domestic agriculture sector needs to change the method of production and export transaction, and promote quality control for fruit, including durians.
Despite the COVID-19, China imported 809,000 tonnes of durian in the 11 months of 2021 worth 4.13 billion USD, exceeding the figure of 2.3 billion USD in 2020. This is an attractive figure for Vietnamese businesses and gardeners.
International investors attracted by Vietnam’s economic growth: VinaCapital
More people worldwide are becoming aware of Vietnam’s economic growth story and eagerly seeking ways to engage in it, noted CEO of the VinaCapital Fund Management JSC (VinaCapital) Brook Taylor in a recent press release.
In the release, VinaCapital announced that it is serving as an investment advisor to the Taiwanese-based Jih Sun Securities Investment Trust (JS) on its newly launched fund – Jih Sun Vietnam Opportunity Fund (JSVOF).
As advisor, VinaCapital provides its expertise and experience as a long-time investor in Vietnam to JSVOF’s managers, who have already constructed a portfolio consisting of the stocks of leading and fastgrowing Vietnamese companies. In 2021, VinaCapital’s Vietnam-domiciled open-ended equity funds led the industry, outperforming the benchmark VN Index.
Reference exchange rate up 3 VND
The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at 23,119 VND/USD on February 16, up 3 VND from the rate on the previous day.
With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,812 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,425 VND/USD.
The opening-hour rates at commercial banks increased.
At 8:30am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,570 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,880 VND/USD, both up 10 VND from February 15.
Meanwhile, BIDV kept both rates unchanged from the previous day, listing at 22,610 VND/USD (the buying rate) and to 22,890 VND/USD (the selling rate).
Vietjet Air doubles flight frequency to Thailand from March
Budget carrier Vietjet Air announced on February 15 that it will operate six return flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Thailand’s Bangkok from March, doubling its current frequency.
The airline’s representative said the move aims to offer more flight options for passengers and make contributions to the recovery of trade and tourism links between the two nations and in the region.
Serving the plan, Vietjet Air will launch a 50 percent ticket discount programme for the route between February 16 and 21 for flights departing from February 16 to May 31.
MB Capital to sell entire stake in Fideco
MB Capital Management JSC, a unit with the involvement of Phan Phuong Anh, a board member of the HCMC Foreign Trade Development & Investment Corporation (Fideco/FDC), has registered to sell all its 1.9 million FDC shares, or a 4.92% stake.
The transactions will be conducted from February 17 to March 18 this year.
Earlier, between December 20, 2021 and January 6 this year, MB Capital sold 4.16 million FDC shares to reduce its ownership to 4.92% from 15.69% and was no longer Fideco’s major shareholder.
In related news, Le Chi Hieu has tendered his resignation from his post as Fideco chairman due to health issues. Hieu was born in 1957. He took the post of Fideco chairman in April 2019, reported Dau Tu Chung Khoan newspaper.
Fideco then accepted his resignation on February 8 and appointed Tran Bao Toan to the post the same day.
Full disbursement – a key objective for 2022-23 public investment
The goal would be to fully disburse 100% of the allocated funds in 2022 with high quality and efficiency.
A push for a higher disbursement rate of the public investment fund should be seen as a key priority for ministries and localities during the 2022-2023 period.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the view in a directive No.126/CD-TTg sent to ministers and leaders in provinces/cities, urging them to ensure swift and effective implementation of the US$15.4 billion socio-economic recovery program, and the public investment plan.
Under the plan, the prime minister asked each agency and locality to set up their own task force specialized in speeding up public investment.
Vietnam’s disbursement of public funds in 2021 was estimated at VND431.2 trillion ($19 billion), or 93.47% of the target set by the prime minister.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is tasked with allocating sufficient funds for public investment and making public the performance of cities/provinces and ministries in the media.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) should set up an investment portfolio in the 2022-2023 period that is in line with the upcoming socio-economic recovery program.
HSBC Vietnam, Trung Nam Group join hands to develop renewable projects
With Vietnam’s strong commitment at the COP26 last November to reach net-zero by 2050, the development and investment in renewable energy projects are of strategic national importance.
HSBC Vietnam today [February 15] is signing a Letter of Intent (LoI) for evaluating and providing financing solutions with a focus on sustainability with Trung Nam Group, one of the largest and most high-profile renewable energy players in Vietnam.
The signing ceremony is witnessed by Alok Sharma, COP26 President, on the occasion of his visit to Vietnam and Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam.
The LoI marks another step in HSBC Vietnam’s execution journey of the commitment to arranging up to USD12 billion of direct and indirect sustainable financing for Vietnam and the corporate sector in Vietnam by 2030.
Vietnam’s wood industry continues to grow