Vietnam visa - vietnam visa online - vietnam visa fee
Vietnam visa - vietnam visa online - vietnam visa fee
Nov 29 2011

Vietnam’s private companies strengthen presence in Top 500 list

vietnam%e2%80%99s private companies strengthen presence in top 500 list

More private firms have made it onto an annual list of Vietnam’s largest companies, although state enterprises continue to dominate the top 10.

Oil and gas group PetroVietnam, once again, topped this year’s list of 500 largest companies, also known as the VNR500.

Despite its claims of losses, fuel distributor Petrolimex ranked second, followed by the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, Electricity of Vietnam and gold producer SJC.

Other major state companies which made up the rest of the top 10 include telecom giant Viettel, coal miner Vinacomin and the Vietnam Bank for Agiculture and Rural Development.

While state enterprise sector accounted for 41.6 percent of the top 500, the number of private companies on the list continued to rise this year. Private companies represented 37.4 percent of the companies on the list, compared to 31.2 percent last year and 24 percent in 2008.

The FDI sector accounted for 21 percent of the list. However, foreign companies ranked first in terms of efficiency, with an average return-on-assets ratio of 9 percent, much higher than the 2.7 percent in the state sector and 2.5 percent among private companies.

All of the companies in the first 30 positions on the list had revenues of more than US$1 billion. Their average revenue was $3.2 billion, up from last year’s $2.7 billion.

The VNR500 has been announced at the end of the year since 2007. The list is published by local rating company Vietnam Report JSC and news website VietNamNet.

Nov 29 2011

Vietnam wooden house attracts offers of over $3 mln

vietnam wooden house attracts offers of over 3 mln

An old wooden house in Vietnam northern province of Bac Giang has been offered VND70 billion (US$3.33 million).


The house is said to have been built with timber from sua (Dalbergia tonkinensis prain), an endangered species which has been banned from commercial use.


It is located on an alley on Nguyen Van Cu Street in Bac Giang town, capital city of the province. The red colored wood is also fragrant, news website VnExpress reported.


The three-compartment house is supported with 24 polished wood pillars, each around 30 centimeters in diameter. The house interior is decorated with many carvings, including dragon heads.


Khong Trong Binh, owner of the house, said he bought it this year from a friend who had bought it from central Vietnam but did not have a large area to put it up.


Nguyen Van Phong, an ancient language researcher and deputy director of the provincial museum, said the carvings in the house are typical of Vietnamese architecture in late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Writings on the roof of the house indicate it was built in 1919, Phong said.


The carpenters, who were among the 20 best in Bac Giang hired to put the house together, said the house was built with red sua.


They said when they polished the wood, more of its veins appeared and turned red.


When it was burned, the wood did not turn into charcoal but into white ash that smelled like aloe wood, the carpenters said.


Binh said he’s only sure that the wood is a precious species.


“I have never seen a kind of wood that is so firm, polished, fragrant and has such magnificent veins,” said the house owner who has sold wood furnishings for more than 30 years.


Many people in the timber business have visited the house and offered between VND50-70 billion.


“Most recently, a person came to buy the house for a Chinese person but I rejected the offer,” Binh said. “I don’t even want those people to look at the house.”


Sua furniture is highly favored in China, and demand has increased in recent years among the nouveau riche seeking the prestige of having furniture made of precious and rare wood.


Prices offered for Vietnamese sua have increased constantly from 2.5 million yuan ($366,000) a cubic meter in November 2007 to more than $578,000 early this year.


During feudal times in Vietnam, sua was used to make furniture in the palaces.


Binh said he won’t sell the house even if people offer higher prices as he built the house for worshipping his ancestors in the first place.


He would keep the house for succeeding generations as a national cultural relic, he said.$3.33-million.aspx

Nov 29 2011

Vietnam real estate no longer an FDI magnet: report

vietnam real estate no longer an fdi magnet report

Foreign investment into Vietnam’s real estate sector totaled US$464.1 million in the 11 months of this year, a sharp fall compared to previous years.

The investment accounted for only 3.7 percent of new FDI pledges that Vietnam attracted during the period, recorded at $12.69 billion, down 16 percent from the same period last year, the Foreign Investment Agency said in a new report.

According to the agency, real estate had been the sector drawing in the largest FDI inflows for several years. In 2008, it attracted a record $23 billion from foreign investors. During the downturn last year, the sector continued to top the list with $6.84 billion.

But this year, it has fallen behind other sectors like manufacturing, electricty and construction, which had FDI pledges of between $1.1 billion and $6.2 billion in the first 11 months.

The trend is partly due to the ongoing market slump which has caused many developers to delay both existing and new projects, news website Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon cited industry insiders as saying.

Moreover, investors continue to stay cautious during the global economic crisis and the government’s credit squeeze makes it even more difficult for developers, they said.

Nov 29 2011

Vietnam donor group to meet in December

vietnam donor group to meet in december

The Consultative Group, formed by major international donors to Vietnam, will meet in Hanoi next month to discuss issues concerning economic restructuring and poverty reduction.

The meeting, held on December 6, will focus on Vietnam’s macroeconomic conditions in 2011 and directions for 2012. The donors will also talk about Vietnam’s plans for financial system and public investment reforms.

A business forum on economic growth will be held December 2 as part of the meeting.

The group, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Japan, meets annnually to help Vietnam’s development. The country received US$7.9 billion in pledges of grants and low-interest loans from the group last year, down from $8.06 billion in 2009.

An informal mid-year meeting was held in June 9 in the north-central province of Ha Tinh where some of the donors came to discuss issues relating to Vietnam’s marcoeconomic stability. While recognizing initial progress, bilateral and multilateral donors encouraged the government to direct more attention to the “structural origins” of instability.

Nov 29 2011

Vietnam turning to private sector for infrastructure project funding

vietnam turning to private sector for infrastructure project funding

Vietnam can only meet half of the capital it needs for infrastructure development and will have to seek more invesment from the private sector, according to a report on the government’s website.

The country needs US$15-16 billion a year for its infrastructure projects, but the government can only provide $7-8 billion, the report said, citing the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

One form of investment, the public-private partnership (PPP), is seen as one of the solutions, the ministry said.

According to the report, Vietnam plans to pilot the PPP model with 27 projects, including 18 transport and port projects. Four road projects have been selected so far.

Dang Xuan Quang, deputy head of the ministry’s Foreign Investment Agency, said the preparation period is usually longer with PPP projects, but their feasibility is higher than projects carried out under other investment schemes.

The government will complete all the groundwork, proposals and feasibility studies for PPP projects. The projects will then be opened for bidding with the help of international consultants, Quang said.

He said there are many other things that still have to be done to facilitate the PPP mechanism, but the government has assured that investors will be protected from any risks that they may face when implementing the projects, including policy changes.

Nov 29 2011

Vietnam needs to make fuel market more competitive: official

vietnam needs to make fuel market more competitive official

Vietnam’s fuel market needs to be restructured to ease the dominance of Petrolimex, the top oil products distributor, says Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

“In the long term we need to think about reorganizing the market by giving opportunities to other distributors,” Hue said in an interview published in the Vietnam Economic Times Saturday.

Companies like Saigon Petro and PV Oil have to be stronger and hold a larger market share, he said.

Vietnam’s demand for oil products increases every year, by between four and five million tons, and fuel distributors can aim at this opportunity, he said.

“Even Petrolimex needs to consider restructuring in a way that faciliates competition,” Hue said.

He also said local fuel prices have been quite stable this year compared to the global market. Retail prices were adjusted four times, with two increases in February and March and two price cuts in August and October.

The Ministry of Finance in Septemter launched an inspection into pricing at major fuel traders, including Petrolimex and PV Oil.

The move came after a heated debate between government officials over whether Petrolimex, the largest fuel trader with a market share of around 60 percent, was making profit or losses and whether the price hikes earlier this year were acceptable.

Speaking at a National Assembly session last week, Hue said findings from the inspection will be announced soon.

He said Petrolimex has made profits over the past three years, but if only fuel sales are taken into consideration the company has actually incurred losses.

Nov 27 2011

Vietnam may raise power prices 10-15 percent: official

vietnam may raise power prices 10 15 percent official

Vietnam may raise electricity prices by more than 10 percent next year, but tariffs for poor households will remain unchanged, according to Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue.

Officials have reviewed all input costs and the projected production cost for electricity in 2012 would be VND1,242 per kilowatt-hour, or 4.6 percent higher than the current retail price, Hue said.

Power prices will be raised next year, but the increase will be “restrained,” he told the legislature in Hanoi on Thursday.

Electricity bills for low-income families will be the same, and the government will continue to provide subsidies for them, he said.

Speaking to the press on Friday, Hue added that the hike for retail prices will be more than 10 percent, but will not be higher than this year’s increase of 15.6 percent.

EVN’s losses

Responding to lawmakers’ questions about the performance of state-utility Electricity of Vietnam, also known as EVN, Hue said the group had losses of VND23.5 trillion (US$1.12 billion) last year, including VND8.04 trillion from production and sales, and VND15.46 trillion caused by fluctuations in the exchange rate.

“The audit report of the company shows that some of EVN’s investments in non-core sectors were profitable, while some led to losses, but they were not factored in the loss of VND8.04 trillion,” he said.

Hue said the situation has “much improved” this year. Losses could ease to VND3.54 trillion this year, excluding those incurred due to exchange rate fluctuations, he said.

The power utility plans to divest completely from non-core businesses, Hue told the National Assembly.

“I believe the divestment will be faster with EVN compared to other state enterprises. It’s because there is a plan already, and we have also advised the company to [divest],” he said

Nov 27 2011

Vietnam central bank to take charge of gold production

vietnam central bank to take charge of gold production

The State Bank of Vietnam says it will take over SJC, the country’s largest gold trader and producer, and make SJC its official gold brand.

Central bank governor Nguyen Van Binh told lawmakers Friday that the government plans to take control of gold bar production and placing SJC under its management is part of the plan.

Ho Chi Minh City-based SJC, also known as Saigon Jewelry Company, now holds 90 percent of the gold bar market in Vietnam. The company is managed by the municipal administration.

The central bank has told the HCMC People’s Committee about the plan to take over the gold production business of SJC, Binh said.

“By doing this, the State Bank can achieve two goals: giving the government an exclusive position in gold production and trading; and allowing the government to save costs when using the SJC brand, which has been accepted by domestic and overseas markets.

“SJC will become the official gold brand of the State Bank of Vietnam. When conditions allow, we will change the brand from SJC to SBV,” Binh said.

Under a draft decree introduced by the State Bank of Vietnam late last month, gold bar producers are required to have a registered capital of at least VND500 billion and a minimum market share of 25 percent.

Industry insiders believe the new rule will make SJC the only eligible producer because none of the other seven can meet the market share requirement.

Nov 26 2011

Vietnam to tighten control over telecom prices

vietnam to tighten control over telecom prices

Vietnam will introduce a new set of regulations governing telecom service prices early next year to prevent predatory pricing and unfair competitive practices, Dau Tu newspaper reported Wednesday, citing officials.

There is fierce competition on the local telecom market, and it could collapse if businesses sell under cost or offer sales promotions against the law, said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang.

It’s necessary to tighten regulations on promotions in the sector, he said.

Pham Hong Hai, director of the minitry’s Telecommunications Department, said the lack of specific rules on mobile rates and a benchmark prices have made it difficult to manage the market.

The plan to strengthen regulations came after the Information and Communications Ministry ordered mobile network Beeline to end a sales promotion that it believed to be illegal.

Beeline, operated by Russian telecom giant VimpelCom, launched a so-called “Billionaire” calling plan in September, offering subscribers VND1 billion (US$47,600) in their accounts if they pay a minimum top-up of VND20,000 every month. The bonus value can be used for calling other Beeline users for 10 years.

The communications ministry immediately asked Beeline to stop the promotion, requiring it to provide a cost breakdown and prove that the calling plan was not a predatory pricing attempt.

Although the network rolled back the “Billionaire” calling plan as ordered, it argued that it only meant to support phone users during tough economic times. Beeline also pointed out that it does not hold a controlling share in the local market.

Hai said the network has not submitted its cost breakdown report yet, and until it does, it cannot resume the promotion program.

Vietnam’s regulations stipulate that a bonus offered by businesses cannot exceed 50 percent of the value of the product they are selling.

Nov 25 2011

Vietnam central bank pledges no chaos for system

vietnam central bank pledges no chaos for system

Vietnam’s central bank said Thursday it will avoid chaos and collapse when restructuring the banking system, noting that it is keeping an eye on weak lenders.

The goal of banking reforms is to create a healthy system with various kinds of banks that are capable of competing on the global level, news website VnExpress said, citing a report that the State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Binh prepared for legislators.

Binh said the restructuring will be carried out in three stages: ensuring capital and solvency for banks, reforming weak banks, and facilitating mergers and acquisitions.

The central bank is strengthening surveillance on weak banks and has asked large lenders to support small ones in terms of liquidity. the report said.

Binh also confirmed his tough stance on banks breaking the 14 percent cap on deposit interest rates, warning that such banks may be banned from continuing credit activities, and their managers will be dismissed.

According to his report, the central bank will keep key interest rates stable and ask commercial banks to bring down interest rates for priority sectors.

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