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Archive for September 22nd, 2009|Daily archive page

VN-Index likely to hit 590 points this week, brokers say

In Vietnam Stock Market on September 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Vietnam’s major stock market in Ho Chi Minh City continued to head north on Monday, with the VN-Index rising for the eight straight session.


The index, the benchmark measure of the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, increased 6.96 points, 1.22 percent, to close at 577.97. Trading volume remained very high, with more than 69 million shares worth VND3.3 trillion being traded. Of the index’s 174 members, 86 stocks advanced, 64 fell and 19 were unchanged.


VN-Index will likely correct a little when reaching 575 points, before reaching the 590 mark at the end of this week, Au Viet Securities Co. forecast in a report.


The HCMC-based brokerage also expects property, construction materials and resource stocks to be top picks, while financial and fuel shares will barely advance.


The Vietnam International Securities Co. also predicts in a report that the market will remain in an upward momentum this week, as recent positive performance on Wall Street built up Vietnamese sentiment.


Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has staged a six-month climb from a 12-year closing low, rising 58 percent, according to Reuters. The rally has fed on expectations of a rebound from recession coupled with cheap money that has flooded roughly every market.


For the week starting on September 14, the Dow rose 2.24 percent, capping its best week in two months. Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 2.45 percent and the Nasdaq added 2.5 percent.


Southern Rubber Industry Joint-Stock Co. (CSM), Vietnam’s third-biggest listed rubber company, rose 4.52 percent to VND104,000.


Pretax profits in the first nine months may reach VND241 billion (US$13.5 million), the company known as Casumina said in a statement on the stock exchange’s website. The HCMC-based producer of rubber products had forecast a full-year profit of VND41 billion.


Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corp. (REE), a maker of air conditioners and electrical appliances, was unchanged at VND50,500. Pretax profits reached VND349 billion in January-August period, exceeding its full-year target of VND250 billion, it said in a statement posted on the exchange’s website.


Vietnam Italy Steel Joint-Stock Co. (VIS), which manufactures and supplies construction steels, fell 4.49 percent to VND93,000. Songda Urban & Industrial Zone Investment & Development Co. plans to sell all of its shares in the company between September 16 and December 11, according to a statement posted on the exchange’s website.


In Hanoi, the HNX-Index moved up for two days in a row, gaining 1.36 points, 0.77 percent, to close at 177.82.


The UPCoM-Index of unlisted stocks crept down 0.77 points, 1.19 percent, to close at 63.8 as of 11pm.


Source: SGGP

City sees sudden increase of hand, foot and mouth disease

In Vietnam Health on September 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm

The number of children infected with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) rose suddenly last week, children hospitals No. 1 & 2 and Tropical Hospital in HCM City recently announced.








A doctor examines a child patient at the Children’s Hospital No.2

Dr. Truong Huu Khanh, head of the Infection and Neurology Department at Children’s Hospital No.1, said that his department had daily received more than 20 children with HFMD.


Among them were five cases with serious nerve complications and needed respirators to breath, he added.


Although a HFMD epidemic has not broken out, the city has recorded five deaths due to the disease since the beginning of the year, said the city’s Preventive Health Center.


The peak season for HFMD usually falls in September, said Dr. Nguyen Dac Tho, director of the Preventive Health Center.


If children present symptoms including erythematous macules and blisters in the mouth, palm or sole of the feet, parents should take them to the health centers for treatment, he added.


 


Source: SGGP

Surgeons successfully separate conjoined twins

In Vietnam Health on September 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm


Surgeons at the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi separated five-day-old conjoined twins on Sep. 21.








This photo shows the conjoined twins before seperation surgery (Photo: Dan Tri)

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, director of the hospital, said that they had to conduct the separation operation two days ahead of schedule due to one of the girls’ weakness.


The girls are now in better condition than before surgery, said Dr Liem, but both are put under special care as they have a congenital heart malformation.


The twins are expected to receive heart treatment two weeks following the separation, he added.


The twins, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai and Nguyen Thi Minh Hong, weighing a total 4.7kg, were born on Sept. 16 in northern Bac Ninh province conjoined at the chest. Both shared a single sternum and pericardium (heart sac).


The twins were taken to the hospital three hours after birth. They were suffering from severe respiratory failure and was being assisted by breathing machine.


Source: SGGP

Cai luong stalwart passes away

In Vietnam Culture on September 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Veteran cai luong actress Thanh Thanh Hoa died in Ho Chi Minh City on September 20 at the age of 67.








Veteran cai luong actress Thanh Thanh Hoa

Ms. Hoa, real name Nguyen Thi Anh, was born in 1943 in Sai Gon, as HCMC was then known. She was introduced to cai luong at age of 12.


She was well-known for her roles in plays like Cat Dung Phuong Tu, Cay quat lua hong (Pink silk fan), Tieng trong sang canh (Announced drumbeat of time), and won cai luong‘s most prestigious honor, the Thanh Tam golden medal, in 1961.


She spent the last years of her life in peace and quiet, taking care of her grandchildren and ornamental plants, said her daughter and meritorious cai luong actress, Thanh Thanh Tam.


Her body is being kept at Truong Thanh Pagoda in HCMC’s District 1 and a burial ceremony will be held at the Artists’ Pagoda in Go Vap District on September 22.


 


Source: SGGP

Cheap priced tours to aid domestic tourism

In Vietnam Travel on September 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Economic recession and A/H1N1 flu have seriously affected Vietnam’s tourism industry. The number of international tourists arriving in the country in the first nine months of the year has fallen. However, domestic tourist numbers have grown 30 percent.








 







Thung Lung Vang ecological tourist site in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong attracts many domestic tourists (Photo: SGGP)

The growth in domestic tourism has resulted from a 60 percent discount on airfares by the State-owned carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA).


The airline is providing the discount for domestic tours as a response to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s domestic tourist stimulation program at the beginning of 2009.
 
In costs of domestic package tours, air tickets account for 40 percent.


The airfare discount has been considered an unheard-of break through in the history of country’s aviation industry.


A five day and four night tour from HCMC to Northern provinces, which had earlier cost between VND8million and 9 million, has fallen to VND5 to 6 million.


Companies have still met difficulties with some conditions by VNA. Tran The Dung, deputy director of The He Tre Tourist Company in HCMC said that to get cheap tickets, his company has to gather at least ten tourists for a tour.


The promotion is also going to end by the end of September.


Companies are worried that the number of customers will fall when prices return to the old tour prices, a rise of 30 to 40 percent.


Tourist companies have proposed that VNA lengthen the program until the end of the year. VNA has not yet responded to this proposal.


However, it has announced that the airline will cut ticket prices by 60 to 70 percent for domestic and international routes from October 1 to January 31 next year.


Domestic tourist stimulation


According to some officials from the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) at a seminar recently held in HCMC to develop Vietnam tourism in the global financial crisis, the number of international tourists arriving in Vietnam in the beginning months of the year saw the biggest reduction among ASEAN countries.


To make up for the reduction of international visitors, the country should focus on domestic customers.


The government should have longer lasting stimulus policies, with airlines always providing some form of promotion and tourist companies diversifying tourist services to develop domestic tourism.


Source: SGGP

Eyes on China at high stakes UN climate meet

In World on September 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Expectations were building for China to take the lead on climate change, as some 100 world leaders gather Tuesday to breathe new life into deadlocked negotiations.








A factory in China (AFP Photo)

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called the biggest-ever summit of national leaders on climate change some 100 days before a high stakes gathering in Copenhagen, which is meant to seal a successor to the landmark Kyoto Protocol.


US President Barack Obama, who is fighting to push climate change legislation through the Congress, will address the summit on the eve of the annual UN General Assembly in New York.


But the spotlight may fall on President Hu Jintao of China, which according to some measures has surpassed the United States as the top emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for a dangerous rise in global temperatures.


Chinese officials have spent recent days in private talks billing Hu’s address as a major announcement.


UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said he was advised that China would make “an ambitious” statement at the summit.


“This policy will make China become the world leader on climate change,” de Boer told a small group of reporters.


“I have very high expectations on what President Hu will be announcing,” he said, explaining that the measures will “take Chinese emissions very significantly away from where they would have been without a climate policy.”


China, along with other developing nations such as India, has long resisted committing to any cuts in greenhouse gases, arguing that rich nations bear historical responsibility.


Former US president George W. Bush — breaking with the leaders of virtually all other rich nations — refused to take part in the Kyoto Protocol, calling it unfair by not requiring action by emerging powers.


Obama has sharply shifted course and declared climate change to be a priority. The US House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation to impose the first US national mandatory cuts on emissions, but the bill still awaits Senate action.


“What we see happening here is that health care is so dominating the (US) domestic agenda that it is pushing back the climate change legislation, making it more difficult for the US to come to Copenhagen with a strong position,” de Boer said.


But Todd Stern, the State Department’s special envoy on climate change, said the Obama administration was committed regardless of the status of climate legislation and that Obama would make a “strong statement” at the UN.


¨It’s an opportunity for him to speak before the nations of the world on this issue,” Stern said after meeting Friday with climate negotiators from major economies in Washington.


 Also raising hopes of environmentalists, Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is set to make his debut on the world stage at the UN General Assembly.


Hatoyama has said his center-left government will commit to cutting emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, compared with previous premier Taro Aso’s eight percent goal.


“As Japan is probably the most efficient economy in the world, it’s incredibly ambitious,” de Boer said.


 Ahead of the summit, the leaders of the world’s most vulnerable nations — small islands across the planet’s oceans — appealed for action.


Dessima Williams, a former Grenadian diplomat who heads the Alliance of Small Islands States, noted that recent science showed a sea level rise of at least one and maybe two meters by the end of the century.


“That would spell disaster, even disappearance, for some of our islands,” Williams said.
 


Source: SGGP

US-Japan alliance a ‘cornerstone’ of US policy: Clinton

In World on September 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday described her country’s alliance with Japan as a “cornerstone” of US foreign policy in a first meeting with her Japanese counterpart Katsuya Okada.








U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton right, meets with Japan’s Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York Monday, Sept (AFP Photo)

“The alliance between the United States and Japan is a cornerstone of our foreign policy, and indispensable to the security and prosperity of the Asia Pacific,” Clinton said in New York.


“I look forward to working with him (Okada) to develop and strengthen even stronger bonds, partnership, friendship and alliance in pursuit of our common values and a future that we hope will be even better,” she added.


Clinton, in New York for the United Nations general assembly meeting this week, held talks with Okada after dispatching her top official on the region to meet with the new Japanese government.


Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, said Monday that the United States wants “to underscore how important it is for us to get off to a good start in the US-Japanese relationship.”


Campbell said he had promised that the United States would listen to how Tokyo now intends to undertake a review in the relationship.


“We told our Japanese friends how we’re going to conduct our business in public. We are going to be very clear about how important it is to respect each other as equals,” he said.


“The United States intends to underscore its support of a strong and independent Japanese foreign policy,” Campbell said.


But he added that in private the US administration would “underscore areas where we think continuity on policy is important.”


US President Barack Obama will meet with new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama for the first time on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN general assembly.


Hatoyama was sworn in as prime minister last week after his center-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won the country’s elections by a landslide.


The DPJ’s victory ended more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and party leaders have already signaled they want a “more equal” relationship with the United States.


The new coalition government sworn in Wednesday is seeking to strike a balance between the demands of some of its own left-leaning and pacifist members, and the desire to maintain the traditionally strong US alliance.


The DPJ has also said it would not renew a naval refueling mission that supports US-led operations in Afghanistan when it expires in January.


Foreign Minister Okada hinted Sunday that Japan could offer more development aid to Afghanistan in place of the naval support mission.


“If Japan can generate the situation where Taliban soldiers on the frontline would be able to feed their family members and offer education, then the situation in Afghanistan will change,” he said.


“There is a significant number of people who work for Taliban to earn money.”


Clinton denied Monday that a Japanese refusal to renew the naval refueling mission would deal a serious blow to bilateral relations.


“Our relationship… is so broad and so deep that there isn’t any one issue that defines it. It is comprehensive and it has stood the test of time for many years,” she said.
 
 


Source: SGGP

Far Eastern Economic Review to shut down in December

In World on September 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

The Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), one of Asia’s most respected English-language news magazines, will close in December, its owner Dow Jones and Co. announced on Monday.








File photo of the Asian Far Eastern Economic Review on the streets of Hong Kong in 2004. (AFP Photo)

“Unfortunately, despite several attempts at invigorating the brand, the Review’s continued losses in advertising revenue and readers are now unsustainable,” News Corp.-owned Dow Jones said in a statement.


It said the magazine, which was launched in 1946, “will cease publication in December so opinion and commentary resources from Asia can be expanded across all Dow Jones properties,” which include The Wall Street Journal Asia.


“The decision to cease publication of the Review is a difficult one made after a careful study of the magazine’s prospects in a challenging business climate,” said Todd Larsen, chief operating officer at Dow Jones Consumer Media Group.


“It has a rich history of pioneering journalism and helped to set the standard for the press in Asia in the post-World War II era,” he said.


“Dow Jones is proud to have been associated with the Review and its invaluable contributions to the understanding of the Asia region,” he said.


“By increasing resources into growth areas at Dow Jones, we’ll better serve a diverse group of readers and advertisers across Asia,” said Christine Brendle, publisher of The Wall Street Journal Asia.


 Dow Jones said Hugo Restall, the Review’s editor since October 2004, will remain a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board.


 It said current Review subscribers will be offered a one-year subscription to asia.wsj.com, the regionally dedicated edition of the Wall Street Journal’s website.
 
 


Source: SGGP

Flu boosts heart-attack risk, says study

In World on September 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Heart problems may account for a huge share of deaths from influenza, according to a study published on Tuesday that recommends cardiac patients be vaccinated against flu.









The paper, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, reviews mortality figures for acute myocardial infarction — a sudden heart attack — and cardiovascular disease during outbreaks of flu between 1932 and 2008.


The current pandemic H1N1 virus was not included in the snapshot.


Between 35 and 50 percent of the increase in deaths recorded during influenza outbreaks could be attributed to cardiovascular problems, it says.


The authors, led by infectious disease epidemiologists Charlotte Warren-Gash and Andrew Hayward at University College London, say the flu virus causes inflammation and acts on the molecular pathways that control blood coagulation.


These effects could destabilise fatty deposits that line the arterial wall and cause clots that block coronary arteries, they say.


Only a few investigations have been carried out into whether flu vaccination helps protect cardiac patients, but the little evidence available suggests it does, the paper says.


“We believe influenza vaccination should be encouraged wherever indicated, especially in those people with existing cardiovascular disease,” it says.


At present, vaccines for “seasonal” flu are recommended in many countries for individuals with chronic medical conditions. They generally include cardiovascular disease but not other cardiac problems such as hypertension.


Relatively few people at risk take up the vaccine, though. In Britain, only 47.2 percent of people with chronic conditions received the jab for seasonal flu, according to figures quoted in the study.
 


Source: SGGP

US vows to support Russia’s entry into WTO

In World on September 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm

 Washington is eager for Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, and promised Monday to offer “constructive support” toward that end, US trade representative Ron Kirk said Monday.








WTO headquarters entrance in Geneva

Kirk’s comments came after he met with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in Washington for talks on a range of bilateral and multilateral trade issues.


Among the trade issues discussed were US exports of agricultural products, protection of intellectual property rights, and licensing procedures for certain information technology products, Kirk’s office said in a press release.


“Ambassador Kirk welcomed the prospect of renewed engagement with Russia on its WTO accession negotiations following a period of uncertainty regarding Russia’s intentions,” the statement from Kirk’s office read.


“However he again noted that progress in these multilateral negotiations has always depended, and will still depend, on Russia’s dedication and work toward that end,” the statement said.


Source: SGGP

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