VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 28

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VN-Index loses nearly 14 points

Ninh Thuan fights IUU fishing to boost sustainable maritime economy hinh anh 1

Shares fell on Monday morning, as selling-forces weighed on market sentiment.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the VN-Index inched down 13.94 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 1,484.56 points.

The market’s breadth was negative as 325 stocks declined, while only 125 increased.

Liquidity, however, was higher compared to the previous session. Of which, nearly VND17.6 trillion (US$769.2 million) worth of stocks, equivalent to a trading volume of over 583.4 million shares, was traded on the southern bourse.

Foreign investors returned to the market and net bought a value of VND51 billion on the HoSE.

The VN30-Index, tracking the 30 biggest stocks on the market, dropped 10.45 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 1,487.91 points.

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index posted a fall of 3.11 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 458.64 points.

The market’s downtrend was due to a strong sell-off in most sectors, especially banking, securities, manufacturing, real estate and logistics.

Vietnam to extend deadline of tax payments worth US$5.5 billion

The proposal is set to take effect immediately once receiving approval from the Government.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is seeking public opinions over the extension of the deadline payment of taxes and land rental fees for businesses worth VND125.3 trillion (US$5.5 billion) in 2022.

The application period for the extension is subject to value-added tax incurred from March to August 2022, estimated at around VND53.3-54.3 trillion ($2.33-2.37 billion).

Regarding corporate income tax, the MoF proposed the delay of the payment deadline for the first two quarters of 2022, which could go up to VND51-52 trillion ($2.23-2.27 billion).

The ministry also called for a delay of payment deadline of VAT and personal income tax for individuals and home businesses in 2022, or around VND15.3 trillion ($670 million) until December 31, 2022.

National foreign reserves on the rise despite unfavourable factors

Vietnamese foreign exchange reserves have increased considerably over recent years and are expected to remain on an upward trajectory moving forward despite unfavourable factors, according to international financiers the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Sources from the WB and the IMF indicate that the country’s foreign exchange reserves have consistently been rising each year, climbing from US$12.5 billion in 2010 to US$25.3 billion in 2015, before reaching US$55.5 billion in 2018 and US$105 billion in 2021.

International financiers attributed these high reserves to Vietnamese efforts to attract foreign direct investment capital, produce a trade surplus, and to stabilise the US$/VND exchange rate. The exchange rate has even fallen slightly over the past two years, prompting the State Bank of Vietnam to purchase foreign currencies aimed at increasing national reserves.

The country is likely to produce a trade surplus for the seventh consecutive year year in 2022, with US$5 billion to US$7 billion expected. Meanwhile, Remittances by overseas Vietnamese have increased by 4.4% annually over the past three years and are poised to hit US$18.9 billion this year.

Vietjet resumes first international service from Thailand to Da Nang

Budget carrier Vietjet on March 27 resumed the first international service to the central city Da Nang from Bangkok, Thailand, reaffirming its leading role as the largest flight capacity provider between the two countries while pioneering in boosting the post-pandemic recovery of tourism and trade connectivity across the region.

The flight departed from Bangkok to Da Nang, carrying over a hundred passengers, including representatives from numerous Thai travel agencies to visit Da Nang and Vietnam’s central region on a trip to reactivate the tourism exchange between the two markets, following the relaxation of travel restrictions.

Vietnamese seaports handle 180 million tonnes of goods in Q1

Vietnam’s seaports have handled an estimated 180 million tonnes of goods in the first quarter of 2022, the Vietnam Maritime Administrative (VMA) reported.

Notably, the volume of container cargo through seaports is estimated at 6.2 million TEUs, up 6 percent year-on-year.

In March alone, around 67.3 million tonnes of commodities went through Vietnamese seaports, a year-on-year rise of 4 percent. The volume of container cargo exceeded 2.3 million TEUs, of which 826,000 TEUs are imported goods, and 757,000 TEUs are exported ones, up 12 percent and 7 percent against the same month last year, respectively.

Da Nang resumes international air routes

The central city of Da Nang resumed inbound and outbound international commercial flights from March 27 after two years of interruption due to COVID-19.

The first international flight of Singapore Airlines took off from Da Nang to Singapore the same day, carrying 50 passengers.

The first passengers departing from Da Nang were welcomed during a celebration at Da Nang International Airport.

Workshop talks long-term development strategy for wood industry

Vietnam’s wood processing and furniture industry has made big strides over the past decade, heard a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on March 25.

Do Thi Thu Huong, from the Private Economic Development Research Board, said Vietnam has become the 7th biggest wood and wooden furniture producer and the 2nd largest exporter in the world.

Wood and wooden furniture are also among the 10 groups of products with the highest export values, and the industry has generated jobs for about 500,000 labourers, she added.

Huong and other participants at the workshop, however, pointed out difficulties facing the wood processing sector like material shortages as Vietnam has to import about 8.5 million m3 of wood each year, along with limitations in processing technologies and productivity.

Nguyen Van Dien, head of the forestry production management department at the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, said some 45 percent of the labourers in the sector have yet to receive training.

Banking liquidity on the rise

Total liquidity in the banking system reached about 13.7 quadrillion VND (601 billion USD) in January, increasing by 2.59 percent against the end of 2021, according to the State Bank of Vietnam.

Of which, saving deposits made up 5.4 quadrillion VND, up 1.95 percent compared to late 2021, and total deposits of economic entities at 5.6 quadrillion VND, down 1.21 percent.

Experts underlined the 1 percent increase in term deposit interest rates by many banks as a significant cause behind the surge in savings.

Another cause is that the profitability of some other investment channels has begun to wane, resulting in a redirection of cash flows into bank deposits.

Regarding deposits of economic entities, experts said the drop was seasonal since economic entities had to withdraw money to pay wages, salaries and bonuses to their employees before Lunar New Year.

Vietnam sets goal of 18.5 billion USD for wood exports in 2025

Vietnam’s exports of wood and wooden products are expected to rake in 18.5 billion USD in 2025 and 20.4 billion USD in 2030, per a project freshly approved by Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh on March 10.

The 2021-2030 project on the wood processing industry’s sustainable development aims to turn the sector inro a key economic one and promote the trademark of Vietnamese wood products domestically and internationally.

Accordingly, the value of wood and wooden products for export is set at 20 billion USD in 2025 and 25 billion USD in 2030 while that for domestic consumption 5 billion USD and 6 billion USD, respectively. All wood and wooden products for export and domestic consumption are expected to source from legal wood materials with sustainable forest management certification.

Bus operators struggle with rising gas prices

Many bus operators have had to adjust their schedules due to increasing petrol prices and the number of passengers not improving.

At the two largest bus stations in Ha Noi, Giap Bat and My Dinh, the number of departures is only 30 per cent compared to before the pandemic.

The number of departures at My Dinh bus station is 250-300 per day, when it was usually 800 before.

At Giap Bat bus station, there are now about 400 departures per day, while was typically about 1,200.

Many operators are considering asking for an increase in fares to reduce losses.

PVcomBank and Vemanti Group co-operate on digital banking

PVcomBank and Vemanti Group from the US on Monday signed a cooperation agreement on developing and providing a digital banking platform for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The digital transformation has been a long-term strategy and vision at PVcomBank, contributing to optimising products and services and providing customers with convenient experiences when making transactions with the bank.

Under the agreement, the bank would offer customers its strengths in network brand value and products. At the same time, Vemanti Group will use cloud computing, APIs, AI, and blockchain technology for the digital platform.

At the same time, the two sides would work together to research and provide SMEs in Viet Nam with innovative digital financial solutions through PVcomBank’s existing core banking system.

VNM ETF and FTSE Vietnam ETF saw a withdrawal of over $24m in March

In March, foreign investors continued to be net sellers on the Vietnamese stock market.

Statistics until March 24 showed that foreign investors net sold more than US$4.3 trillion (US$188 million) on the Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), bringing the net selling value since the beginning of the year to nearly VNĐ7.7 trillion.

The selling force of foreign investors recently has been attributed to a pair of foreign exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that have just finished restructuring their portfolios – Vaneck Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM ETF) and FTSE Vietnam ETF.

In March alone, the two leading foreign ETFs in the market reported a total net withdrawal of more than $24 million.

Of which, VNM ETF saw an outflow of 1 million fund certificates, worth $18.71 million. Currently, the fund has a portfolio size of $515 million and it spends about 85 per cent on Vietnamese stocks.

In the VNM ETF portfolio structure, Vingroup (VIC) is currently the stock with the largest proportion with 8.23 per cent, followed by Hoà Phát (HPG) accounting for 7.36 per cent, Vinhomes (VHM, 7.2 per cent), Masan (MSN, 5.35 per cent), and Novaland (NVL, 5.33 per cent).

Meanwhile, the FTSE Vietnam ETF witnessed a net withdrawal of $5.7 million since the beginning of March, thereby bringing the net sold value from the beginning of the year until now to $7.4 million.

FTSE Vietnam ETF currently devotes 100 per cent of its portfolio to Vietnamese stocks, with HPG occupying the largest proportion of 11.91 per cent, followed by VHM (11.73 per cent), VIC (11,11 per cent), MSN (9.02 per cent), and VNM (6.39 per cent).

Corporate bond yields expected to rise this year

In 2021, corporate bond yields were at their lowest level in history at just 7.86 per cent a year. The interest rate may have created a bottom and will support corporate bond yields inching up in 2022.

In a recent report, SSI Research said that last year, enterprises issued a total of VND722.7 trillion (US$31.6 billion) worth of bonds, up 56 per cent year-on-year. The net number of corporate bonds issued in 2021, excluding the amount of matured and called away bonds, was estimated at VND438 trillion, up 63 per cent.

The total amount of corporate bonds in circulation at the end of 2021 was estimated at about VND1,390 trillion, equivalent to an average growth rate of 46 per cent per year in the period from 2017 to 2021. The size of the corporate bond market increased sharply, from 4.93 per cent of GDP in 2017 to 16.6 per cent of GDP in 2021.

SSI said that this growth was in line with the capital market development orientation, reducing the dependence of enterprises on bank credit.

The average maturity of corporate bonds issued in 2021 decreased to 3.86 years from the average of 4.32 years in 2020. It was mainly because banking and real estate bonds have shorter maturity dates, down by 0.5 years and 0.3 years, respectively, to 4.2 years and 3.6 years.

The energy and minerals group also had shorter maturities, down by 0.86 years to an average of 6.4 years and remained the group with the longest maturity date.

Analysts cautious over market movements this week

Securities companies have forecast that the stock market may continue to struggle this week and investors should adopt risk management measures.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the market benchmark VN-Index edged up 0.02 per cent, to 1,498.50 points.

The index had gained a total 2 per cent last week.

An average of 831 million shares were traded on the southern exchange during each session last week, worth VND26 trillion (US$1.14 billion).

On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index lost 0.23 per cent to end Friday at 461.75 points.

In its report, Viet Dragon Securities Company (VDSC) said that the market might continue to struggle in a narrow range around the threshold of 1,500 points.

Mirae Asset Securities Viet Nam said the VN-Index is testing the level of 1,500 points, which is an important resistance of the mid-term sideways trend.

SSI Securities Joint Stock Company said the VN-Index had continuously retreated when approaching the resistance area of ​​1,500 – 1,520 points, so the slight correction from the above resistance area was still likely to continue.

Over VND8t required for road upgrade project in Hanoi

The capital city of Hanoi will invest over VND8 trillion (US$349 million) to upgrade a 22-kilometer section of National Highway 6 in the 2022-2027 period.

The municipal government has approved the project to upgrade the National Highway 6 section, which starts from Ha Dong District to Chuong My District in the city, reported VnExpress news site.

The capital to implement the project will be sourced from the city’s budget and the central budget.

Under the project, the investor will build a rainwater and sewage drainage system, a lighting system, a fire prevention system, and traffic signs.

A representative of the Hanoi government said the road upgrade is aimed at gradually developing the city’s infrastructure system, meeting the rising travel demand, and promoting local socioeconomic growth.

Nghe An seizes vessel for allegedly smuggling fuel

The police in the north-central province of Nghe An seized a vessel for allegedly smuggling one million liters of bio-fuel E5 gasoline worth nearly VND30 billion (US$1.3 million), a local police official confirmed today, March 25.

The provincial police on March 23 raided the headquarters of Tan Xuan Company in the province’s Cua Lo Town for their alleged involvement in the case, reported the local media.

Earlier, they teamed up with the Ministry of Public Security forces to capture the Xuan Son 05 vessel, operated by the company, at the Cua Lo seaport carrying one million liters of bio-fuel E5 petrol. They discovered that the volume of the petrol had no invoices and certificates of origin.

The suspects on the vessel admitted they had bought the petrol from unidentified ships. Following their confession, the forces raided the company’s headquarters and seized documents linked to suspicious fuel trading activities.

The forces seized the vessel and the petrol to serve further investigations into the case.

Vietnam’s tra fish exports to major markets bounce back

Vietnam has reported a strong rise in tra fish exports to several major markets, including the United States, China and Europe, after the Covid pandemic.

The country’s total tra fish export value amounted to some US$385 million in the first two months of the year, skyrocketing 93.6% year-on-year. The revenue from tra fish shipments to some markets posted three-digit growth, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

As of February, the country’s total value of tra fish exports to the United States had reached over US$94.5 million, up 119.7% year-on-year. In February alone, Vietnam shipped tra fish worth some US$42 million to the market, soaring 167% year-on-year, making the United States the biggest tra fish buyer.

Thuduc House has new chairman

Duong Ngoc Hai has been named as new chairman of Thuduc Housing Development Corporation (Thuduc House), which is listed on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange under the code TDH, from March 22.

Hai replaced Lu Minh Son, who resigned on March 14.

Hai, born in 1983, graduated from the United States’ San Diego State University and has worked in the finance and real estate sectors since 2005.

He was a member of the director board of Binh Duong Mineral and Construction JSC from 2016 to 2020 before becoming vice chairman of Thuduc House from December last year.

The leadership of the company has changed repeatedly over a short period of time. Before Son’s resignation, Le Chi Hieu resigned on February 8.

HCMC to officially collect seaport fees from Apr 1

HCMC will officially begin collecting fees from users of infrastructure facilities and public services at seaport terminals in the city from April 1 after delaying the fee collection twice, said Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, director of the HCMC Inland Waterway Port Authority.

At a press briefing on March 25, Tuan said all individuals and organizations trading in goods temporarily imported for re-export and goods stored in bonded warehouses or in transship and transit and using infrastructure facilities and public services at seaports would be subject to the fees.

In addition, those making customs declarations outside HCMC but completing import-export procedures in HCMC must pay the fees.

Only goods imported to serve the country’s security and national defense, social welfare and those dealing with the consequences of natural disasters and diseases will be exempted from the fees.

The lowest fee is VND15,000 per ton and the highest is VND4.4 million per ton.

VND10-trillion flood control project in HCMC hopefully ready this year

The VND10-trillion flood control project in HCMC will be completed this year as hindrances over capital allocation procedures have been removed, it was announced at a press briefing on March 24.

After the hindrances were lifted, the city, the relevant agencies and investor Trung Nam Group are speeding up work on the final components of the project to complete it within this year and relevant payments by 2023. The city will pay 16% of the contract value by land for the investor and the rest in cash.

The project, which is being developed under the public-private partnership format, is aimed at helping control flood tides for an area of some 570 square kilometers, with some 6.5 million residents on the right bank of the Saigon River and downtown, Binh said.

The project got off the ground in mid-2016 and was set to be completed in 2018, but until now, the project is still under construction.

Textile-garment firms have enough orders until Sept

Many textile and garment enterprises have secured enough orders for production until the middle of the year, even until September, said Pham Xuan Hong, chairman of the HCMC Association of Garments, Textiles, Embroidery and Knitting.

For example, Thanh Cong Textile Garment Investment Trading’s orders are enough until the end of the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Garment Corporation 10 will complete orders by the end of June as the demands have grown higher than in 2020 and 2021.

Following the positive performance in the last few months of 2021, apparel enterprises continued strong growth in their production and business activities in the first two months of this year.

Environmental tax on energy to be slashed from next month

The National Assembly Standing Committee on March 23 passed a resolution on reduction of environmental protection tax on petroleum, oil and lubricants.

Specifically, environmental tax for gasoline shall be cut from the current VND4,000 to VND2,000 per liter.

Meanwhile, tax for diesel, fuel oil and lubricants shall be lowered from VND2,000 to VND1,000 per liter.

In addition, tax for grease and kerosene shall be reduced from VND2,000 to VND1,000 per kg, and from VND1,000 to VND700 per liter, respectively.

The tax on jet fuel, which had been lowered by VND1,500 per liter earlier, remains unchanged.

The tax cut, applicable from April 1 till December 31, 2022, was introduced after the retail petrol prices hit all-time highs of VND29,824/liter for RON95-III and VND28,985/liter for E5RON92 in early March.

From 3:00 pm on March 21, retail petrol prices reduced by more than VND600 per liter after seven hikes.

Specifically, the retail price of RON95 bio-fuel dropped by VND632 to a maximum of VND29,192 (US$1.27) per liter.

The price of E5RON92 was adjusted down by VND655 to VND28,330 (nearly US$1.24) per liter.

Ninh Thuan fights IUU fishing to boost sustainable maritime economy

The south-central province of Ninh Thuan has observed regulations on combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to improve its competitiveness.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has coordinated with other agencies and localities to raise public awareness of IUU fishing, Deputy Director Truong Khac Tri said.

Up to 779 fishing boats measuring at least 15 metres in length have been equipped with monitoring devices, he said, adding that the department has sent officials to work round the clock to monitor operations of local fishing boats.

Competent forces have regularly inspected seafood handled at ports and traced their origin. Since 2018, Ninh Thuan has set up two offices at Ca Na and Ninh Chu ports to facilitate the inspection work.

Farm produce exports set sights on US$50 billion target this year

By utilising various free trade agreement (FTAs) and focusing on advantageous products, the agricultural sector is likely to exceed its export target of US$50 billion set for this year, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, agro-forestry and fishery exports during the initial months of the year surged by 15.8% to reach nearly US$14.2 billion against the same period from last year.

Despite recording positive signs in exports, the sector continued to face numerous difficulties caused by the complicated nature of COVID-19 and other external factors.

Thai travel agencies explore tours in central Vietnam

Representatives from 20 Thai travel agencies are set to survey transport links and destinations around central Vietnam from April 3 for their visitors after two years of disruption caused by COVID-19.

During the four-day trip the special guests will learn more about tourism services in Da Nang, Hue, and Hoi An, all of which were pre-pandemic favourite destinations among Thai tourists.

Indochina Unique Tourist Co. Ltd, which will receive the group, said many visitors are hesitating to travel because Thailand is currently applying a one-day isolation policy due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

However, the Thai Government plans to remove this rule from May 1, allowing Vietnamese tour operators the chance to exploit the market, he noted.

In addition, a number of international flights between Vietnam and Thailand have been resumed, helping to boost post-pandemic recovery of tourism in the future.

Enterprises to get gov’t assistance for tech innovation

The Government is looking for ways to support local enterprises access new technologies and speed up technological innovation.

“Supporting businesses in seeking new technologies and fostering technological innovation is a critical task not just for the science and technology sector but also state administrative agencies and other sectors,” said Huỳnh Thành Đạt, Minister of Science and Technology, at a recent meeting.

The meeting to discuss the issue was organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Việt Nam National University in HCM City and the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.

“The work needs cooperation from ministries, agencies, local authorities, businesses, research institutions and universities,” he added.

Those attending the meeting introduced policies and solutions to help enterprises establish cooperative links with local and international scientists and organisations in boosting technological innovation.

They also listed examples of successful cooperation models in technology transfer.

VND18.6-trillion road project approved

The prime minister has approved the National Highway 50B project linking HCMC and the Mekong Delta provinces of Long An and Tien Giang at an estimated investment of VND18.6 trillion.

The road, which will be 55 kilometers long and 78 meters wide, will start at an intersection with Pham Hung Street in HCMC and end at the Trung Luong T-junction in Tien Giang Province. The section in Long An, Tien Giang and HCMC will be over 35, 14 and 5.8 kilometers long, respectively.

Of the total investment, more than VND13.8 trillion will be used for site clearance.

The section in Long An will pass through the Can Giuoc, Can Duoc, Chau Thanh and Tan Tru districts and include three bridges—Can Giuoc, Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay.

The National Highway 50B, when completed, will connect with Ring Road Nos. 3 and 4 in HCMC to intensify the connection with international gateways, such as Hiep Phuoc Port, Thi Vai-Cai Mep deep-water seaport and Long An Port and the Long Thanh International Airport.

Three Southern road projects need supplemental capital of US$826 mln

The Ministry of Transport has just said that the total investment of the three road projects of Bien Hoa – Vung Tau, Chau Doc – Can Tho – Soc Trang, Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot had been submitted to the National Assembly with a total investment of VND84,453 billion (US$3,7 billion).

After balancing the capital, the three projects were calculated to lack VND18,829 billion (US$826 million) that need to supplement the medium plan in the period of 2021 – 2025.

If the projects are applied with the contractor appointment mechanism, they will be saved VND1,658 billion (nearly US$73 million) and the capital demand of supplementing shall be reduced to VND17,171 billion (US$753 million).

The Ministry of Transport proposed to use the capital source from the exploitation transfer of sections on the Eastern North–South expressway in the period of 2017 – 2020 to ensure the capital to implement the above-mentioned three projects.

Hanoi spends US$87.5 million for post-pandemic production

Local authorities will ensure the right spending and purposes, avoiding overlapping with other support programs.

Hanoi will this year provide loans worth nearly VND2 trillion (US$87.5 million) for local people and businesses, helping them restore their production and counter the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The beneficiaries include the poor, social policy families, small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, and home businesses.

The above-mentioned loan will be funded via the Hanoi branch of the Bank for Social Policies, meanwhile, the people’s committees of districts will ensure the right spending and purposes, avoiding overlapping with other support programs.

Vietnam extends resolution on pilot bad debt settlement

As of November 30, 2021, total bad debts according to criteria set out in resolution No.42 were estimated at VND420 trillion ($18.4 billion), down 15.74% against August 14, 2017, the date the resolution No.42 became effective.

The Government has approved a proposal from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), on the extension of the validity period of Resolution No.42, which consists of pilot measures on bad debt settlement.

Under the new decision, the SBV is tasked with drafting a new resolution to extend Resolution 42’s validity until August 15, 2025, and submit it to the National Assembly for approval.

Resolution No.42, scheduled to end in August, has been seen as an effective instrument to curb bad debts in the banking sector since it was launched five years ago. Since then, the SBV noted there has been significant progress in this regard.

As of November 30, 2021, total bad debts according to criteria set out in resolution No.42 were estimated at VND420 trillion ($18.4 billion), down 4.65% against late 2020 and 15.74% against August 14, 2017, the date the resolution No.42 became effective.

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

Railway sector expects over 200 mln USD to upgrade weak bridges, tunnels

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