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Archive for September 1st, 2008|Daily archive page

Taiwan brokerage opens in Ho Chi Minh City

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Taiwan-based Polaris Securities Co has received approval from the State Securities Commission to open a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City.

The office will focus on researching the Vietnamese stock market, as well as promoting cooperation contracts between its parent company and Vietnamese partners.-

Stock market: Liquidity improves on good news

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Liquidity improved strongly last week, despite trading boards falling into the red on the Ho Chi Minh City bourse at the end of the week ending on August 29, as investors saw signs of good news ahead.

The VN-Index rose 12.12 points or 2.42 percent over the week to close at 539.1. The gain was mainly thanks to a 34.69 point jump after a strong trading on Monday and Tuesday.

The index lost 22.75 points in the last two days of the week as investors cashed in before the holidays.

Trading volume reached 147 million shares, a 9.3 percent increase over the previous week, while total turnover rose by 18.5 percent to 6.23 trillion VND (377.58 million USD).

Solid gains by some major stocks including Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) and Sacombank (STB) contributed to the increase in revenue, according to Nguyen Truong Son, an analyst with FPT Securities.

Early week trading was spurred by a low August inflation rate, as the General Statistic Office announced inflation was up only 1.56 percent month-on-month. Investors had predicted a three percent rise, after the Government raised petrol prices by 30 percent on July 21.

“The low inflation index proves the Government has the capacity to control prices,” said Son.

Investors were buoyed by news of stable exchange rates and reduced interest rates for loans.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on August 29 decided to keep the prime interest rate at 14 percent, and to triple the interest rate of commercial bank reserves from 1.2 percent to 3.6 percent, to help credit institutions lower lending interest rates.

“These moves are good signs, which show that the Government is gradually shifting to the goal of accelerating GDP growth, in conjunction with adjusting monetary policies,” said Son.

“The adjustment doesn’t have a great impact on the banking system, but will support investor confidence,” he said.

Earlier last week, the Ministry of Planning and Investment reported a record 47.2 billion USD worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the economy in the first eight months of this year, more than four times the amount of last year.

Do Hoai Nam , an analyst with Kim Long Securities, predicted that there would probably be an upward trend in share prices this week if world oil prices remained at current levels.

Foreign investors were net sellers on domestic bourses last week, buying an average of three million shares and fund certificates per day, and selling 4.4 million.

“Despite the market decline in the last two days of the week, demand for shares still remained great,” said FPT analyst Nguyen Truong Son. “With oil prices declining and the domestic economy having stabilised, we expect the VN-Index will not fall below 520 points this week and will bounce back shortly.”

The analyst predicted that the VN-Index would range between 530 and 550 points this week.

At the Hanoi Securities Trading Centre, the HaSTC-Index closed at 192.43 after gaining 28.26 points or 17.2 percent over the week. About 14.7 million securities changed hands, and trading values averaged 397 billion VND (24 million USD) per day.-

Discounts aim at lagging sales in Ho Chi Minh City

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Shopping malls and supermarkets are offering discounts to promote sales, which have nosedived in response to the fuel price hikes.

Suppliers are lowering prices because many families, already hit hard by the price hikes, spend more in preparation of the school year, say representatives from various Ho Chi Minh City supermarkets.

Prices of food, cosmetics and household appliances have already lowered since mid-August, according to Nguyen Phuong Thao, director of Maximark Cong Hoa Supermarket.

At present, the Big C supermarket chain is offering a 16 percent discount on 30 fresh and preserved food items, a 38 percent discount on household appliances, and a 32 percent on clothing, according to Duong Thi Quynh Trang, Big C’s Public Relations Manager.

Big C has announced more discounts coming this September, including Tien Giang rice by 10.5 percent, Tuong An cooking oil by 7 percent and vegetables by 15-20 percent.

Customers will also see a 3-10 percent discount on cooking oil and rice at the Co.op Mart chain. The supermarket will launch a sales promotion campaign worth over 20 billion VND (1.25 million USD) this month.

In Hanoi , food prices fell by 5,000-10,000 VND per kg for pork and 2,000-9,000 VND per kg for vegetables.

Retail prices of Thai Nguyen steel recently decreased by 500,000 VND (31.25 USD) to 18.3-18.5 million VND (1,143-1,156 USD) per tonne. Viet-Uc steel which was over 21 million VND (1,313 USD), is now approximate to Thai Nguyen.

Vietnam Steel Corporation also announced a second adjustment on steel prices this month, down by 300,000-500,000 VND (18.75-31.25 USD) per tonne for the retail market.

Steel prices will continue to drop as the price of imported steel ingot fell from 1,200 USD to 950 USD per tonne, said Nguyen Huy Tam, general secretary of the Vietnam Steel Association.

Moreover, the rainy season in Vietnam’s southern region is delaying construction, pushing supply over demand, Tam said.

Following suit, ashlar brick prices are also down ten percent to 80,000 VND (5 USD) per sq.m. Electrical goods stores are offering a 35 percent discount as well.-

Vietnam’s private sector to be helped promote exports

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam ’s private sector will be helped to promote exports to Switzerland under the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO).

To this effect, an agreement was inked by the Trade Promotion Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Business Network Switzerland (OSEC) – the official promoter of Swiss foreign trade.

Under the agreement, the two sides will promote the export of Vietnamese goods to Switzerland and other European countries by organising trade fairs, market survey tours, conferences and seminars.

The project will benefit Vietnamese small and medium enterprises, particularly those involved in producing and exporting aquatic products, farm produce, processed food, handicrafts, furniture, garments, machinery, electronics and software.

The Swiss side will cooperate with the Vietnamese side to select Vietnamese businesses for the project, and provide up-to-date information on the Swiss and European markets for Vietnamese exporters.

The Swiss side will also assist Vietnam to provide training on business administration and trade promotion for Vietnamese businesses and organisations.-

French professor grants scholarships to students

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Da Nang (VNA) – Prof. Odon Vallet from France’s Sorbonne University, presented 181 scholarships to excellent students in central Da Nang city and Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh provinces on August 30.

Of the total, 153 scholarships, worth 3.2 million VND each, were given to high school students and the remaining, worth 5 million VND each, to university students.

This was the sixth time that Vallet scholarships have been presented to students in Da Nang city.

French-born Odon Vallet, a doctor of law and a religious history professor at Paris-based Sorbonne University, set up the scholarship programme for Vietnamese students in 2001.-

Deputy PM requires higher quality education

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:03 pm

– Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has required universities and colleges to pay special attention to developing their teaching staffs, both qualitative and quantitative.

The Deputy PM was speaking at the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET)’s conference on August 30 which was attended by representatives from relevant agencies and 208 universities and colleges that were set up and upgraded during the past ten years.

Nhan said the number of universities and colleges set up and upgraded during the past ten years was equal to the total number of schools built during the 50 previous years.

The number of students rose from 720,000 in 1998 to over 1.6 million at present while the number of lecturers also doubled from the figure of 28,000 ten years ago, he revealed.

“However, how to raise the education quality on a large scale is a difficult question,” said the Deputy PM.

According to the Deputy PM, the MoET will soon issue regulations related to lecturers and their training at the doctoral level applied for both State-run and non-State schools.

He also asked schools to work out and make public their training criteria which will serve as basis for them to define training targets, design curricula and stipulate lecturers’ qualifications.

The MoET will set up a website to provide the public with data related to each school’s operation and ranking, he said.-

Quang Binh launches another ecotourism tour

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Quang Binh (VNA) – Visitors both inside and outside the country now will have the opportunity to explore the Nuoc Mooc ecotourism site that opened in central Quang Binh province on August 31.

Around 30 km far from the centre of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a world natural heritage, Nuoc Mooc boasts spectacular natural landscapes such as the Gio (Wind) waterfall and other ecotourism potentials.

The same day, a drive was launched at the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to call on the local people and holidaymakers to vote for the park as one of the world’s natural wonders.

Local authorities expects the drive will help promote the image of Quang Binh’s people and historic land, particularly the park’s potentials, for the better protection of the world heritage.-

Binh Dinh: Camping festival marks National Day

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Binh Dinh (VNA) – A camping festival was held in southern Binh Dinh province’s Tay Son district from August 30-31 on the occasion of the National Day (Sept. 2).

The event, aiming to commend charitable examples in 2008, was organised by Binh Dinh’s Red Cross organisation, Educational and Training Department and Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

Twelve representatives from the office of the Norwegian Red Cross in Vietnam , and Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang and Vinh Phuc provinces joined 150 representatives of Binh Dinh’s 26,000 volunteers of the Vietnam Red Cross in the camping festival.

The festival, themed “Joining efforts for humanity”, included a series of activities, such as the commendation of 22 examples in the 2007-2008 humanitarian movement, a performance of Tay Son martial arts music, a camping contest, the blood donation and traditional games.

The festival is part of the Norwegian Red Cross’s aid project for Binh Dinh, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang and Vinh Phuc provinces.-

Foreigners detained for illegal cash withdrawal

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Ho Chi Minh City police said on August 31 they have detained three foreigners for further investigation into their alleged illegal cash withdrawal from a bank using counterfeit papers.

The detainees include M. Fabrice, 23, holding French nationality, and Long Angel Fabien, 30, and Andoris Eboli Mbpke, 28, both Congolese citizens.

The foreigners had used fake papers of a Spanish named Fridman Bernard Israel, 33, to withdraw a total of 217,033 AUD from a commercial bank’s branch in Vo Gap district.

Their illegal action was uncovered by the bank staff and then reported to Vo Gap district’s police.-

More houses for low-income people needed

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 1:01 pm

– More houses for low-income people, including labourers and State employees, are needed to meet the rising demand for affordable housing, according to Ho Chi Minh City officials.

In Ho Chi Minh City, 200,000 workers at industrial and export processing zones, 11,000 State employees, and over 1.5 million migrants do not have housing yet.

The few low-income housing projects that do exist are usually only half-completed or still on the drawing board. Most real estate investors are focused on the quick profits of building high-end housing.

Meanwhile, despite a drop in housing prices, low-income earners do not have enough cash to buy houses since bank policies no longer allow them to take out loans.

The price of a 40 sq,m apartment from Dat Lanh Real Estate Company is 400 million VND (24,000 USD). At this price, it would take 20 years of work for many people to be able to afford the house.

HCM City’s Housing Development Fund has a programme to provide home loans for low-income earners but the criteria for eligibility is often unattainable.

The fund can only give loans to a limited number of people. Moreover, the maximum amount that they can borrow is 300 million VND (18,000 USD).

Nguyen Ngoc Thach, deputy director of the Housing Development Fund, proposed the city create more favourable conditions for public land funds and capital for building low-income housing immediately to speed up housing development projects.

He also asked the city to let private investors take over Government housing development projects, and then rent or sell them.

So far the fund has given 247 people loans worth a total of 58 billion VND (3.5 million USD).-