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Posts Tagged ‘end’

Bitter end for acquired firms listing on stock market

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:26 am

Investors always expect that the mergers and acquisitions will bring booming time to their firm’s businesses, but many acquired enterprises are in red after the acquisition. 

Two investors discuss the stock market’s moves at the Ho Chi Minh City Securities JSC (Photo:Minh Tri)

Korea’s retailer Lotte announced its 40 percent stake in Vietnam’s confectionery firm Bibica (BBC), but some brokers said the actual holding is more than 51 percent, which put the Korean firm into the positions of chairman and financial manager in the candy maker’s board of directors.


The acquisition helps boost Bibica’s businesses and competitiveness, analysts said. However, Bibica is still miles behind the confectionery giant Kinh Do (KDC) in term of marketing, which is the most important skill in the candy industry.


Therefore, Bibica may not be among the great deal for both long-term and small-time investors, experts said.


Similarly, beverage firm Tribeco (TRI) incurs constant losses in seven years after Kinh Do bought its control stake. The firm now almost does not stand a chance to compete with both local and foreign rivals, including Tan Hiep Phat and Pepsi. Many brokers, therefore, put Tribeco into “Don’t buy” list.


Brokers and financial experts also pay high attention to mergers and acquisitions of securities enterprises, which are alongside banks to be the two main factors of the financial market.


However, the mergers and acquisitions in the last three years were ineffective as none of brokerages showed any improvement. The competitiveness of brokerages remains low, experts noticed.


“A company failing to beef up its acquired ones’ businesses will struggle to buy control stakes in other firms. Investors are hesitate to buy shares in big earning companies with low dividend rates and share prices treading water,” said a broker of a HCMC-based securities.

Source: SGGP

No end in sight for Haiti rebuild: minister

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:11 am

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 6, 2011 (AFP) – It’s not clear when Haiti will be fully rebuilt, with five years needed just to rehouse the government, a top minister told AFP as the anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake approached.


The grim assessment by Jacques Gabriel, minister for public works, transport and communication, reflects how Haiti is struggling a year after the January 12 earthquake killed more than 220,000 and left some two million people homeless — about 20 percent of the population.

Kettely Gadet, one of many disabled by the earthquake that devastated Haiti nearly one year ago, is seated on a concrete bench January 6, 2011 in Port-au-Prijnce. AFP

“The task will be very heavy, not just in the city, but in the provinces that were concerned and perhaps nationally,” Gabriel told AFP in an interview at his temporary office in the once picturesque, now squalid and half-ruined capital Port-au-Prince.


“It’s hard to give a time-frame, to say ‘two, three, five years.’”


Gabriel, a trained engineer, said even rehousing the government of this stricken nation, where the presidential palace lies in ruins, is not imminent.


“The state should be able to finance the construction of the administrative complex in the next five years,” he said in the interview Wednesday.


Haitians living in fetid tent camps are furious that a year after the disaster they are no closer to moving back into real houses. About 1.3 million people had to take shelter in camps, with another 600,000 cramming in with relatives and other hosts.


Aid groups estimate that only five percent of the rubble has been cleared, impeding attempts to rebuild. Officials say that only 40 percent of the rubble will have gone by August, a year and a half after the tragedy.


Former US president Bill Clinton, who is helping to coordinate relief efforts, called that performance “totally unacceptable,” while Oxfam says “indecision” is to blame for the lack of progress.


Gabriel admitted that of 390,500 buildings surveyed, less than 1,000 have been repaired by the Haitian authorities.


But he said that rebuilding on such a large scale simply can’t be done quickly.


“We have made an evaluation of the damage caused by the quake and we are working on a reconstruction plan for the city center in Port-au-Prince,” he said.


“Before rebuilding, you need studies, a global approach, a vision of how to rebuild, what to rebuild, in what conditions and in what ways, taking into account the seismic hazard.”


Defending himself against widespread accusations of going too slow, he said, “you also need to educate people, train technicians and build in a new way to avoid new catastrophes.”


A first big rehousing project is due to be launched on Wednesday, the anniversary, with a planned construction of 3,000 apartments in a neighborhood near the flattened presidential palace.


“It is a project for public housing with high-rises, but respecting the seismic norms, and housing hundreds of families,” he said.

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Source: SGGP

Obama to sign end to military gay ban

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

 The United States stood on the cusp of letting gays serve openly in its military for the first time, as the US Congress sent President Barack Obama a bill to bring about the historic shift.


Senators voted 65-31 to approve House-passed legislation to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” compromise of 1993 requiring gay soldiers to keep quiet about their sexual orientation or face dismissal.


“It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed,” said Obama, who vowed during his 2008 White House bid to lift the ban.


Obama was expected to sign the measure this week with great fanfare, launching a White House and Pentagon certification process to ensure the smoothest possible transition at a time when Washington is fighting two wars.


Eight of the White House’s Republican foes backed the change — perhaps the biggest such shift in the US military since racial integration began in 1948 — while three Republicans and one Democrat missed the vote.


The measure, its passage assured when it cleared a procedural hurdle by a 63-33 margin earlier, fueled bitterly divisive debate in the already polarized Senate.


“The first casualty in the war in Iraq was a gay soldier. The mine that took off his right leg didn’t give a darn whether he was gay or straight. We shouldn’t either,” Democratic Senator Carl Levin said before the ballot.


“We cannot let these patriots down. Their suffering should end. It will end with the passage of this bill. I urge its passage today,” said Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.


“It isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” countered Senator John McCain, the top Republican on Levin’s panel and Obama’s defeated 2008 White House rival and a fierce foe of lifting the ban.


“To somehow allege that it has harmed our military is not justified by the facts,” McCain said. “Don’t think that it won’t be at great cost.”


Passage triggered a time-consuming process that calls for lifting the ban only after the president, the secretary of defense, and the top US uniformed officer certify that doing so can be done without harming military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention.


Republicans have scoffed that the leaders involved have already stated their support to ending the policy.


“They have already made up their minds,” said Republican Senator James Inhofe.


The Pentagon issued a study this month that found a solid majority of troops were not bothered by the prospect of lifting the ban and that the military could implement the change without a major disruption or upheaval.


The repeal effort enjoyed broad support from the US public, as well as from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen.


Gates — who had warned that US courts would step in and perhaps force a hasty end to the policy unless lawmakers acted — said the Pentagon would “carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully.”


Mullen, whose emotional February testimony to Congress in favor of repeal has been credited as a signal moment, said ending the ban was “the right thing to do.”


“No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so,” he said, promising: “We will be a better military as a result.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband Bill had enacted the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy when he was president, said the repeal would strengthen US support for human rights internationally.

Activists listen during a rally on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on Capitol Hill, December 10.

“This is a historic step forward for all Americans, a step toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values,” she said.

In the years since the ban was enacted as a compromise, some 13,000 US troops have been ousted, and critics have pointed out that many were trained at great expense, like fighter pilots, or had hard-to-find skills, such as Arabic translators.

But opponents of the legislation have cited testimony from US military service chiefs who warned against a quick repeal, citing concerns about unit cohesion.

General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps and an opponent of lifting the ban, has warned repeal could jeopardize the lives of Marines in combat by undermining closely knit units.

Newly minted Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senators Jim Bunning, Judd Gregg, and Orrin Hatch did not vote on repeal.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam plans to put end to TB within 20 years

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:29 am




Vietnam plans to put end to TB within 20 years


QĐND – Friday, December 10, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

Vietnam plans to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, according to the National Tuberculosis Prevention (NTP) Programme.


The programme on Dec. 9 revealed its strategy for the next five years to reduce the prevalence of TB by half of the estimated incidence in 2000. It also aims to keep the multi-drug resistance (MDR) rate steady between now and 2015.


“TB epidemiology in Vietnam is still higher than the previous estimation of health experts. Thus, a significant number of TB cases remain undiagnosed or unreported and will continuously be sources of transmission,” said NTP Director Dinh Ngoc Sy.


According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Vietnam still ranks 12th among 22 TB high burden countries and ranks 14th among 27 countries with a high burden of MDR-TB. The NTP estimated that Vietnam has about 200,000 TB cases of all forms, of which nearly 100,000 are new cases.


The number of TB cases detected and treated consistently remains under 60 percent of new cases annually. MDR-TB is about 20 percent of previously treated TB patients.


Vietnam will have to mobilise about 250 million USD of the total budget of 340 million USD from local and international donors to implement the National Tuberculosis Prevention Programme (NTP) in the next five years, Sy said.


“The State funding for the tuberculosis prevention programme only meets about 30 percent of the budget requirement,” he said.


The NTP said TB prevention activities have faced many challenges due to inadequate budget, lack of human resources, legal shortcomings, a weak health system and the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


The programme has set targets for the 2011-15 period that ensure access to and provision of equitable, high-quality and basic directly observed treatment (DOT) services at all levels of the healthcare system; address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and TB control in prisons; integrate NTP into the health system; and mobilise the involvement of all economic sectors in the NTP fight.


WHO estimates there are about 2 million new TB cases worldwide, 93 percent of which are in Vietnam , the Philippines , Cambodia and China . In fact, 260,000 people die from TB each year in the Western Pacific region.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Maliki to be named Iraq PM to end eight-month impasse

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 at 5:21 am

BAGHDAD, Nov 25, 2010 (AFP) – President Jalal Talabani was to officially name Nuri al-Maliki to a second term as Iraq’s premier on Thursday, giving him 30 days to form a cabinet after an eight-month impasse since a general election.


The move, delayed to give Maliki as much time as possible to negotiate with his rivals, signals an end to the protracted political battle between Iraq’s factions.

AFP file picture shows Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (L) with President Jalal Talabani

The tussle has seen Iraq shatter the world record for the longest period without a new government after polls.


Talabani is expected to name Maliki, who first took the top job in 2006 at a time of brutal sectarian conflict, as prime minister-designate in a ceremony at the president’s office, a parliamentary official said, on condition of anonymity.


Under Iraq’s constitution, Talabani was allowed 15 days to appoint a prime minister following his re-election by MPs on November 11.


He had earlier been expected to name Maliki as premier last Sunday, immediately after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, but delayed the decision to give the incumbent more time to negotiate ministerial posts.


The re-selection of Talabani, a Kurd, and Maliki, a Shiite, to their posts and the naming of a Sunni Arab as speaker of parliament came after a power-sharing pact was agreed on November 10.


The accord also established a new statutory body to oversee security as a sop to ex-premier Iyad Allawi, who had held out for months to regain the top job after his Iraqiya bloc narrowly won the most seats in the March 7 poll.


The support of Iraqiya, which garnered most of its seats in Sunni areas of the predominantly Shiite country, is widely seen as vital to preventing a resurgence of inter-confessional violence.


The Sunni minority which dominated Saddam Hussein’s regime was the bedrock of the anti-US insurgency after the 2003 invasion.


Despite being lauded by international leaders including US President Barack Obama, the power-sharing pact has looked fragile ever since.


A day after it was agreed, about 60 Iraqiya MPs walked out of a session of parliament, protesting that it was not being honoured.


The bloc’s MPs had wanted three of its senior members, barred before the election for their alleged ties to Saddam’s banned Baath party, to be reinstated immediately.


Two days later, however, Iraq’s lawmakers appeared to have salvaged the deal after leaders from the country’s three main parties met and agreed to reconcile and address the MPs’ grievances.

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Source: SGGP

UN pleads for end to Haiti unrest

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 8:42 am

Putting an end to gender selection

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Sarkozy hopes end in sight for French pension protest

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 9:36 am

President Nicolas Sarkozy hopes to put his titanic battle to raise France’s retirement age behind him this week by signing the measure into law despite a new wave of strikes, rallies and fuel blockades.


With thousands of families heading off for school half-term holidays, and lawmakers expected to give the pensions bill their formal final approval on Wednesday, Sarkozy hopes the mass protest movement will die away.


But, with Sunday newspaper opinion polls showing the embattled president more unpopular than ever, trade unions and student bodies have declared at least two more days of action, and strikes continue in the key fuel sector.

A motorcyclist queues up with drivers at a gas station in Nantes, western France

A poll by the IFOP institute for the weekly JDD found Sarkozy’s approval rating had dropped below 30 percent for the first time, clouding his hopes that passing the pensions law could kick start a political comeback.


French university students are planning to march on Tuesday to defend the right to retire at 60, and trade unions have called their campaign’s seventh one-day nationwide strike and day of rallies on Thursday.


Meanwhile, one petrol station in four around the country has run dry, amid strikes at refineries and blockades of fuel depots by strikers playing a cat and mouse game with riot police sent to disperse them.


Government supporters were putting a brave face on things, however, betting that on Wednesday — when the National Assembly rubber stamps the pensions law already approved by both houses of parliament — the movement will fizzle.


“In France we have a sort of ritual from another century. Strikes, protests, yes, but taking the economy hostage is intolerable,” said Jean-Francois Cope, leader of the right-wing UMP in parliament, in an interview with Le Parisien.


The pensions reform bill was approved by the Senate on Friday, and on Monday the text will be reconciled with the draft passed earlier by the lower house.


Following its adoption, France’s constitutional court may be asked to sign off on its legality and Sarkozy expects to be able to put it into the official gazette on November 15, advisor Raymond Soubie told Europe 1 radio.


“This reform will pass. It’s a victory for France and the French,” he said, noting that recent protests against the reform had failed to paralyse public services and that labour leaders had been “quite reasonable”.


Government expects the merged text will then receive final approval by the National Assembly on Wednesday, raising the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018 and increasing the period of salary contributions to 41 years.


Sarkozy defends the measure as “inevitable” in the face of France’s rapidly growing population and burgeoning budget deficit, but opponents accuse him of making workers pay while protecting the rich and the world of finance.


The president is due to face re-election in 2012, and the Socialist party has vowed that if its candidate wins, he or she will restore retirement at 60.


While most voters polled say they support the strikes, and each protest day has so far drawn more than a million marchers, Sarkozy is gambling that if he forces the law through he will be hailed as a strong leader by the right.


Strikes continue, however, particularly in the oil industry and around 70 ships are waiting at anchor off the southern port of Marseille unable to dock and unload.


“In the Paris region we have 35 percent of filling stations that have run dry or are out of at least one fuel product, and in the west of the country a third are in real difficulty,” said a spokeswoman for the transport ministry.


An advisor of Sarkozy said in a television interview that one in four pumps were dry nationwide, but said the situation would improve.

Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo warned drivers to expect shortages on Monday, echoing a warning from the association representing retail petrol stations of shortages as many tanker drivers took their traditional Sunday day off, despite the government having exceptionally allowed them to work.

Meanwhile MEDEF, the organisation representing French business, warned about the serious impact the protest was having on its members, citing in particular road and rail disruption.

Source: SGGP

VN-Index dodges slide to end week on upward trend

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

Movements of VN-Index on July 23. (Photo: vietstock.vn)Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index strove to avoid falling on July 23, as investors displayed caution.

The gauge of 247 companies and four mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange inched up 0.01 percent, or 0.03 points, to 500.31.


Of the index, 79 stocks increased, 119 fell, and 53 were unchanged.


Trading volume dropped to an eight-trading-session low, as just 39.66 million shares changed hands at VND1.17 trillion.


With 1.85 million shares changing hands, Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) won the position of most active shares in volume.


Ocean Group Joint Stock Company (OGC) came in next with 1.67 million shares traded.


Shipping company Gemadept Corporation (GMC), which gave up 3.6 percent, came in third with 952,060 shares.


Meca Vneco Investment and Electricity Construction Joint Stock Company (VES) led the winners on the city bourse, gaining 4.79 percent to VND35,000.


Danang Contruction Building Materials and Cement Joint Stock Company (DXV) advanced 4.75 percent to VND35,300.


Do Van Vu, brother of Do Van Nhan – deputy director of Danang Contruction Building Materials and Cement Joint Stock Company (DXV) sold 5,300 shares on June 22 without making announcement.


Construction materials producer Nui Nho Co-operation (NNC), which located in neighboring province of Binh Duong, shot up 4.67 percent to VND56,000.


Losers in the southern market included Royal International Corporation (RIC), Vinafco Joint Stock Corporation (VFC) and Petrolimex International Trading Joint Stock Company (PIT).


From July 22 to August 22, Vietnam Investment Fund I, LP, which involved the Board of Directors of Vinafco Joint Stock Corporation (VFC), registered to sell 400,000 shares, cutting its holdings to 1,379,016 shares, accounting for 6.9 percent of the company’s chartered capital, restructuring its investment category.


Royal International Corporation (RIC) will issue bonus shares to reward its current shareholders at a ratio of 10 percent. It will also release additional shares to pay dividends for the year 2009 at a ratio of 5 percent.


The Hanoi’s HNX-Index added 0.31 points, or 0.2 percent, to wrap up the week at 157.99. Liquidity on the northern bourse reduced 10 percent over the previous day, as around 32.8 million shares, worth VND1 trillion, changed hands.


In contrast, the UPCoM-Index lost 0.25 points, or 0.46 percent, to 54.63 as of 11:05 am local time. The market of unlisted stocks recorded nearly 600,000 shares being traded at a value of VND10.1 billion.

Source: SGGP

US hopes for quick end to Thai state of emergency

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

BANGKOK, July 16, 2010 (AFP) – A senior US envoy expressed hope Friday that a state of emergency imposed in parts of Thailand since April in response to violent street protests would be lifted “as soon as possible”.


But William Burns, the State Department’s number three, stressed that Thailand was able to find its own way out of the political crisis, reiterating US calls for a democratic and peaceful solution.


“Clearly the US hopes that the state of emergency … can be lifted as soon as possible,” Burns told reporters after discussions with Thai officials.


He said Americans had been “deeply saddened” by the violence and deaths suffered during the two months of opposition demonstrations in Bangkok that ended with a bloody army crackdown in May.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjaiva (R) shakes hand with William Burns at Government House in Bangkok on July 16, 2010. AFP

Ninety people, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 1,900 were injured in violence sparked by the anti-government “Red Shirt” rally.


The emergency powers — enabling authorities to detain suspects without charge for up to 30 days and shut down anti-government media — were extended last week for three more months in Bangkok and 18 other provinces.


Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has set out a five-point reconciliation plan, which the US Congress has said should form the basis of efforts by all parties in Thailand to resolve their differences.


The next stop on Burns’ regional tour will be Phnom Penh on Saturday for events marking the 60th anniversary of relations between Cambodia and the United States.


He is then set to head to Indonesia, with which President Barack Obama has been seeking stronger ties, and will round off his trip on Monday and Tuesday in the Philippines, another close US ally, for talks with the new administration of President Benigno Aquino.

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Source: SGGP

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