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Jan 31 2013

HCMC customs wants to collect less tax money

hcmc customs wants to collect less tax money

The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has proposed lowering the city’s tax collection target, which the department fears it cannot meet.

The US$3.86 billion target set by the Finance Ministry was 17 percent higher than the total collected by the department last year and would make up 33 percent of the overall tax collection across the country.

HCMC Customs says there is no way it can collect that much in times of economic slump.

Customs tax payments collected from imports and exports increased only 3.8 percent year-on-year in 2012.

Nguyen Thi Hong, vice chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee, was quoted by Saigon Times newspaper as saying the target was “too high” considering that the country’s economy was unlikely to rebound from last year’s slowdown any time soon.

Le Dinh Nam, head of HCMC Customs’ import/export duties division, said the target was impossible and forecast that the sum of tax payments would increase only slightly this year from the $3.27 billion collected in 2012.

In October last year, the Finance Ministry lowered the tax collection target to $3.26 billion from the initial $3.8 set at the year’s start, after it received many requests from the department.

The initial target last year was 16 percent higher than the city’s total tax payments the previous year.

HCMC’s imports and exports fell 0.65 percent last year to $66.7 billion.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130126-vietnam-hcmc-customs-seeking-lower-tax-collection-target.aspx

Jan 30 2013

Vietnam public debt accounted for 55 pct of GDP in 2011

vietnam public debt accounted for 55 pct of gdp in 2011

The Finance Ministry said public debt in 2011 accounted for nearly 55 percent of economic growth that year, news website VnExpress reported.

The debt reached VND1.4 trillion (US$68.8 billion).

Of the total amount, central government debts piled up to VND1.096 trillion, while government-guaranteed loans totaled VND285 trillion.

Local government debts were estimated at VND10.7 trillion.

While the ministry can only provide figures from 2011, up-to-date statistics on The Economist website revealed that the country’s public debt has piled up to VND1.5 trillion ($72 billion), equal to 50 percent of gross domestic product.

Vietnam ranks sixth on The Economist’s 1-8 rankings that goes from low debt to high debt.

Vietnam’s goal is keeping the public debt from exceeding 65 percent of economic growth over the next two years.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130125-vietnam-public-debt-55-percent-of-gdp-2011.aspx

Jan 30 2013

Vietnam metro sees FDI on target in 2013

vietnam metro sees fdi on target in 2013

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ho Chi Minh City this month totaled 2.5 times the amount recorded last January, news website Saigon Times reported.

Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy chief of The HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (Hepza), said FDI inflows, composed of new investments and additional investments in the ongoing projects, had totaled US$26.1 million on January 23.

Japan’s Nidec Tosok plans to pour $95 million more into its parts manufacturing plant in the city’s Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone.

Another Japanese industrial manufacturer, Saion Precision, has also asked approval to spend $120 million more on its plant in the Linh Trung Export Processing Zone.

Dinh said the two companies’ large investments mean the city is well on its way to hitting its FDI target of $500 million this year.

FDI investment this quarter alone is expected to increase to $250 million, 110 percent higher than over the same period last year

Last year, the city was only able to meet 85 percent of the same $500 million target due to the economic slowdown.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130125-vietnam-southern-hub-hopeful-for-targeted-fdi-flows-2013.aspx

Jan 30 2013

$45 bln needed to finish Hanoi real estate projects: official

45 bln needed to finish hanoi real estate projects official

Property investors in Hanoi will need a total of US$45 billion to finish all of the real estate projects they are committed to, the Ministry of Construction has announced.

According to the Ministry, the apartment inventory in the capital city stands at 520,000 units, accounting for 70 percent of all apartments existing units, news website Vnexpress reported Friday.

Hanoi now has around 3 million people, yet it still lacks schools and hospitals.

The ministry said that demand for apartments was low.

As of late October last year, property sector debts had reached VND207.6 trillion, up 3.6 % compared to 2011. 6.5 of the debts are bad debts, according to a report by the central bank.

In order to boost the property market, the Ministry said it would halt all projects which are on its way of clearing site but deemed “inappropriate with the development of the city.”

Projects that have completed the site clearance project will be allowed to continue.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130125-Hanoi-needs-$45-bln-to-finish-all-property-projects-official.aspx

Jan 30 2013

Vietnam gold traders call for elimination of jewelry tax

vietnam gold traders call for elimination of jewelry tax

The Vietnam Gold Traders Association has proposed that the Ministry of Finance eliminate the export tax imposed on jewelry, which currently stands at 10 percent, saying that it will help domestic gold traders in the current economic slowdown.

According to the association, the demand for jewelry has been slow recently due to the economic slump, causing a negative impact on domestic gold jewelry exports, news website VnExpress reported January 26.

At the moment, Thailand has imposes no export tax on jewelry and Vietnam should follow the scheme to boost domestic shipments, it added.

The Ministry of Finance has applied a 10 percent export tax to jewelry that has more than 80 percent to under 99.9 percent gold content since August 2011. Previously, the tax was put only on jewelry containing more than 99 percent gold.

The association also said the tax reduction will help Vietnam’s jewelry products compete on the international market.

It also argues that Vietnamese jewelry products at ratios of 83.3 percent and 91.6 percent gold are preferred by buyers in Turkey, China and Dubai, but Vietnamese products cannot compete with other countries’ because of the taxes.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130128-Gold-traders-call-for-jewelry-export-tax-reduction.aspx

Jan 29 2013

Head of state-owned bank arrested for neglect of $187 mln bad loan

head of state owned bank arrested for neglect of 187 mln bad loan

Pham Thanh Tan (second from right) at an Agribank function

Vietnamese police have revealed some details about the arrest of a former head of the country’s only fully state-owned lender, Agribank.

At a review meeting on white-collar crime Wednesday, they said Pham Thanh Tan, former general director of the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, was arrested last year for his involvement in a bad debt of VND3.9 trillion (US$187.2 million) at a Hanoi branch.

They did not say when he was arrested.

He faces a charge of “irresponsibility causing serious consequences.”

Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Thursday that Tan and several senior bank executives were arrested for giving the loan to a loss-making company, Lifepro Vietnam.

The Ministry of Public Security earlier arrested Pham Thi Bich Luong, 44, then director of the South Hanoi branch that gave the loan in 2007, for “lending violations.” 

Lifepro, a foreign joint venture, closed down last October.

The loan was given to set up a garment factory in nearby Ninh Binh Province. The plant operated for a few months before closing last August, and its foreign director fled the country.

Not a dong of the principal or interest has been paid.

Investigations found that the branch had failed to assess the project properly, leading to the loss of money.

Tan, who was deputy general director of Agribank from early 2008 before becoming general director in June 2009, was derelict in his job of assessing the loan.

He was transferred to the State Bank of Vietnam in July 2011.

The country’s largest bank by assets, Agribank reported a bad-debt ratio of 6.1 percent at the beginning of last year, the highest among Vietnamese commercial banks.

But Tien Phong newspaper said in December it has been reduced to around 4 percent.

Many senior executives of the bank were arrested last year in several massive embezzlement cases each worth at least a million dollars.

In November the Ho Chi Minh City police arrested three senior executives for stealing $960,000 from the bank, while city prosecutors charged four others in a $5.33 million scam.

Another executive was arrested in the city in October for allegedly stealing $1 million.

In July a court in Binh Dinh Province handed a life sentence to a teller for stealing nearly $1 million.

That came just 15 days after a Hanoi court sentenced one employee to death and two others to life for embezzling more than $2.18 million.

The Ministry of Public Security in May arrested Do Duc Hung, 56, former director of a Hanoi branch and two employees for allegedly stealing more than $16.60 million.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130124-Ex-head-of-Vietnam-state-bank-arrested-for-allowing-$187-mil-loss.aspx

Jan 29 2013

Vietnam cuts dong loan rate to 10.2 pct to support exports

vietnam cuts dong loan rate to 102 pct to support exports

Vietnam has cut the interest rate on dong loans used to support export activities to 10.2 percent per year from 11.4 percent previously, the central bank said on Thursday.

The new rate came into force as of Jan. 17, the State Bank of Vietnam web site (www.sbv.gov.vn) said in a statement, citing a Finance Ministry circular.

Vietnam aims to boost export revenues this year by 10 percent to around $126 billion, after an annual expansion of 18.2 percent in 2012 to $114.6 billion, the trade ministry has said.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130124-Vietnam-cuts-dong-loan-rate-to-10.2pct-to-support-exports.aspx

Jan 29 2013

Vietnam stocks gain most in Asia on foreign ownership report

vietnam stocks gain most in asia on foreign ownership report

Vietnam’s stocks advanced the most in Asia after reports the foreign ownership cap may be lifted for some companies and the central bank may set a maximum limit on cash payments for high-value items.

The VN Index rose for a third day, jumping 3.5 percent to 468.09 at close in Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest gain since March 5. Vietnam Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Industry Trade climbed 6.6 percent, a record advance. Bao Viet Holdings surged 6.8 percent to the highest close since Jan. 10.

The State Securities Commission may allow some listed companies to raise their foreign ownership limit above the current 49 percent in the first quarter by issuing non-voting shares, SaigonTimes reported. The central bank may limit cash payments outside the banking system for items such as properties and vehicles by June at the latest, according to a Tuoi Tre report. The decree aims to reduce unofficial transactions to help tackle theft and tax evasion, according to the report.

“Limiting cash payments will reduce risks and boost tax revenue for the state budget, which is good for the economy,” Tong Minh Tuan, head of research at Hanoi-based BIDV Securities Co., said today. Stocks also reacted positively to reports on foreign investment limits, he said.

SSC Chairman Vu Bang declined to comment on the report. Bui Quang Tien, head of the payment department at the State Bank of Vietnam, declined to comment because he’s not authorized to speak to the media.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130125-Vietnam-stocks-gain-most-in-Asia-on-foreign-ownership-report.aspx

Jan 29 2013

Vietnam one-year bonds drop as banks cut holdings to raise cash

vietnam one year bonds drop as banks cut holdings to raise cash

Vietnam’s one-year bonds fell the most in seven months on speculation banks pared holdings to raise cash to meet withdrawals before the Lunar New Year holiday. The dong was steady.

The State Treasury sold 2.29 trillion dong ($109 million) of 364-day bills at an average 7.90 percent yesterday, according to the Hanoi Stock Exchange website, compared with 7.65 percent on Jan. 21. The yield rose as banks preferred holding cash, paring demand for the notes, said Pham Tri Hieu, a fixed-income trader at Military Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (MBB) in Hanoi. Vietnam will celebrate the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, known as Tet, starting Feb. 9.

“In two weeks we have the Tet holiday, so banks have to reserve more money to prepare,” Hieu said.

The yield on one-year bonds rose 19 basis points, or 0.19 percentage point, to 8.05 percent, according to a daily fixing rate from banks compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest increase since June 25. The yield on benchmark five-year bonds was unchanged at 9.05 percent.

The dong traded at 20,848 per dollar as of 2:55 p.m. in Hanoi, compared with 20,843 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The State Bank of Vietnam set its reference rate at 20,828, unchanged since December 2011, according to its website. The currency is allowed to trade up to 1 percent on either side of the rate.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130129-Vietnam-one-year-bonds-drop-as-banks-cut-holdings-to-raise-cash.aspx

Jan 29 2013

Vietnam’s Eximbank, Sacombank plan merger, share trade jumps

vietnams eximbank sacombank plan merger share trade jumps

Vietnam’s leading partly private lenders, Eximbank and Sacombank, said on Tuesday they will consider merging as part of a cooperation plan, sparking high-volume trade in their shares which both closed higher on the day.

The two banks, both based in Ho Chi Minh City, plan to merge in the next three to five years and will seek approval for the merger from shareholders and government agencies, Eximbank said in a statement.

Vietnam’s banking system, which has been hit hard by non-performing loans, has long been awaiting a consolidation of weak lenders. The country’s central bank wants to reform nine lenders via mergers as part of a restructuring process started in 2011.

Eximbank and Sacombank are not among the nine lenders involved in the consolidation plan.

The two banks would sign a five-year cooperation plan in which they will support each other in lending, interbank activities, payments and in other areas, Eximbank said.

“This is the biggest merger deal so far, which will also draw interest from foreign investors,” said Vu Duy Khanh, head analyst at Navibank Securities.

Eximbank, or the Vietnam Export-Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank, is already 15.13 percent owned by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.

Vietnam caps foreign ownership in a domestic bank at 30 percent. A foreign strategic investor could own 20 percent subject to government approval.

The merger, which was widely expected, will bring together Eximbank’s capital strength and Sacombank’s network, said Michel Tosto, director of institutional sales and brokerage at Ban Viet Securities.

Trading in both banks’ shares jumped after news of the merger plan was released.

The volume of Eximbank shares traded hit 9.3 million, its highest in three months, while 1.08 million Sacombank shares changed hands, the heaviest volume in a month, exchange data showed.

Eximbank share rose 2.96 percent to close at 17,400 dong (84 U.S. cents) and shares in Sacombank gained 0.88 percent to end at 23,000 dong. The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange’s VN Index closed up 0.92 percent at 484.01.

Eximbank currently owns a 9.73-percent stake in Sacombank, or Sai Gon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank, which is Vietnam’s eighth-largest partly private lender by assets.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20130129-Vietnam-Eximbank--Sacombank-plan-merger.aspx

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