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Archive for December 16th, 2009|Daily archive page

Securities taxes to take effect January 1

In Vietnam Stock Market on December 16, 2009 at 10:41 am

Provisions of the new Law on Personal Income Tax applicable to taxation of dividend income and capital gains on securities trading will take effect on January 1, said Vu Van Truong, director of the Ministry of Finance’s tax policy department.









The new taxes were suspended for all of 2009 as part of the Government’s stimulus package and to help sustain the stock market during the downturn.


Pursuant to the law, investors will have two options for paying the capital gains tax; either a flat 0.1 percent levy on the value of each securities transaction or a 20 percent tax on net capital gains during the tax year.


However, individuals opting to apply the 20 percent rate would still be temporarily charged the 0.1 percent levy on each securities transfer, Truong said.


“Most investors will opt for the 0.1 percent option due to the simple and transparent procedures for paying the tax with each transaction, as well as to avoid tedious and complicated formalities of tax computation and filing returns at the end of the year,” opined An Phat Securities Co general director Tran Thien Ha.


Tan Viet Securities Co deputy director Hoang Xuan Quyen predicted the tax would have little impact on the market as securities companies and investors have been aware it was coming since the end of last year.


Tax on securities trades will be collected by securities companies. Unlisted companies will be responsible for collecting the tax on behalf of their shareholders.


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State Bank denies rumor of helping commercial banks

In Vietnam Banking Finance on December 16, 2009 at 10:40 am









The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on December 15 denied a rumor of pumping VND30 trillion into commercial banks to fortify liquidity as it was applying measures to limit credit growth in order to control inflation.


On the stock market, the rumor prompted investors to increase buying. Banking shares hit the ceiling of their regulated daily trading bands with high liquidity.


Governor Nguyen Van Giau said the State Bank encouraged competition among commercial banks, adding that the banks should set interest rates in line with their capabilities.


Earlier, a rumor that SBV would tighten monetary policy, increase compulsory reserves, and issue VND1 million bank notes, caused an immediate slump on Vietnam’s stock market December 2.


Bank officials denied the rumor.


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Three local films to screen at Asia-Pacific film fest

In Vietnam Culture on December 16, 2009 at 10:39 am

Three Vietnamese films including Dung dot (Don’t Burn), Trang noi day gieng (The Moon at the Bottom of the Well), and Choi voi (Adrift) will be shown at the 2009 Asia-Pacific Film Festival in Kaosiung City, Taiwan  ( China ) from December 17-20.









Poster of the film Trang noi day gieng (The Moon at the Bottom of the Well)
Two documentaries, Bai ca tren dinh Ta Nung (A song on Ta Nung Mountain) and Loi nguyen cau (Prayer) will also screen, according to the Department of Movies of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The movie Dung dot, produced by the Vietnam Cinema Association, won the prestigious Golden Lotus Prize and an award chosen by the judging panel and media at the 16th Vietnam Film Festival last week. It will also represent Vietnam in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. Written and directed by Dang Nhat Minh, Dung dot tells the story of Dang Thuy Tram, a heroic army doctor who loves her country.


Trang noi day gieng, meanwhile, won the Silver Lotus Prize at the Vietnam Film Festival. In September last year, the film’s star Hong Anh won “Best Actress” at the Asia-Africa Awards during the fifth Dubai International Film Festival in the United Arab Emirates. It was also screened at the 37th International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008 in the Netherlands in February,  and at the
Busan International Film Festival in the Republic of Korea in August 2008.


The film Choi voi, which has been praised by critics for the creativeness shown by young director Bui Thac Chuyen, took the 16th Vietnamese film festival’s “Best Director” award.  It also won the Fipresci International Critics’ Prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival in September and screened around the world at other international film fests in Toronto, Busan, London, Fukuoka and Bangkok.

Director Nguyen Vinh Son and actor Hoang Cao De of the film Trang noi day gieng; and actress Minh Huong who starred in Dung dot, will travel to Taiwan for the 2009 Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

First held in 1954, the event is held annually in an Asian country designated by the Board of Directors of the Federation of Motion Picture Producers in Asia-Pacific (FPA).

This year’s 53rd international film festival will be attended by 21 FPA member countries.


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Int’l conference to promote Vietnamese literature abroad

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

An international conference on promoting Vietnamese literature abroad will be held at the My Dinh National Convention Center in Hanoi January 5-10, 2010.








Press conference of the event is organized in Hanoi on December 15.

More than 300 representatives from 32 countries will attend the event, said President of the Vietnamese Writers Association (VWA) Huu Thinh.


The six-day conference will feature four seminars on Vietnamese classical literature, Vietnamese modern prose, Vietnamese modern poetry, and Vietnamese young writers. The seminars aim to give foreign translators, publishers, researchers and others a comprehensive view and knowledge of the history and value of Vietnamese literature.


The event will also showcase outstanding works and writers. An exhibition of domestic and foreign literary works translated into Vietnamese, and a meeting between the VWA and foreign partners will be organized during the conference.


On the occasion, the VWA will present friendship medals to writers, translators and publishers who have contributed to promoting Vietnamese literature to the world.


The first conference was held in 2002 with attendance of representatives from more than 20 countries.


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UN-backed court issues first Khmer Rouge genocide charges

In World on December 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

PHNOM PENH, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court has for the first time issued genocide charges against two leaders of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, a tribunal spokesman said Wednesday.


Former Khmer Rouge number two Nuon Chea and foreign minister Ieng Sary were both charged over the hardline communist regime’s slaughter of Vietnamese people and ethnic Cham muslims during the 1970s, spokesman Lars Olsen told AFP.


“This week both Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary have been brought before the investigating judges and informed they are being charged with genocide against the Cham muslims and the Vietnamese,” Olsen said.


“This is the first time that anyone has been charged with genocide” at the UN-backed tribunal, he added.


The court announced last month it was investigating incursions into Vietnam as well as executions of Cambodia’s Cham minority committed by the 1975-1979 regime.


Final arguments were heard last month in the trial of prison chief Kaing Guek Eav, known by the alias Duch, who was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and premeditated murder in the court’s first trial.


Both Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary have already been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.


They are in detention at the court, awaiting trial in the tribunal’s second case along with Ieng Sary’s wife, former social affairs minister Ieng Thirith and former head of state Khieu Samphan.


Led by Pol Pot, who died in 1998, the Khmer Rouge emptied Cambodia’s cities in a bid to forge a communist utopia, wiping out up to two million people through starvation, overwork, torture and execution.


There are now nearly 240,000 Cham Muslims in Cambodia, mainly in the central provinces, forming 1.6 percent of the population in the predominantly Buddhist country, according to a recent survey by the US-based Pew Research Centre.


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China again says opposes ‘carbon tariffs’

In World on December 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

BEIJING, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – China on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the idea of “carbon tariffs” being imposed on goods made in the developing world, calling it an unfair trade restriction that hurts poor countries.


The idea for such tariffs has been floated in the United States and Europe as a way of penalising imports from countries that do not have statutory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, such as China.


“China firmly opposes carbon tariffs,” commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian told reporters.


He said such tariffs “restrict trade and economic development.”


He added they “ignore the fact that developed and developing nations are in different stages of development and should take on different historical responsibilities and liabilities.”


China is among the leading developing-country voices insisting that rich nations bear “historical responsibility” for emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change and should shoulder the burden of reducing such emissions.


The issue has led to a contentious atmosphere at global talks in the Danish capital Copenhagen on how to address climate change.


Some richer nations argue their industries are being punished by tough domestic environmental laws, which encourage the shift of polluting industries to countries with less stringent controls.


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Philippine warns volcano crisis could last for months

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 at 10:36 am

LEGASPI, Philippines, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – Lava poured down the Philippines’ Mayon volcano Wednesday as experts warned it could erupt for months, meaning thousands of villagers will spend Christmas in crowded evacuation centres.


Five small explosions were detected from Mayon on Wednesday morning, the last of which shot ash 500 metres (1,640 feet) into the air, government volcanologist July Sabit told AFP.


“Lava flow and lava fragments rolling down the volcano are continuous,” Sabit said.


“It is part of the eruptive activity of the volcano. There is a high probability it will be like this for months.”


Sabit cited Mayon’s last eruption in 2006, when it emitted ash and oozed lava for two months.


The eruptions of 2006 did not claim any lives, but left huge deposits of volcanic ash on Mayon’s slopes.


When Typhoon Durian hit the same area in December 2006, it caused a landslide of volcanic ash that killed more than 1,000 people.


The government has already evacuated about 23,000 people living in farming villages near the foot of Mayon and hopes to evacuate another 20,000 this week.


Most of the evacuation centres are at government schools, where classes have been called off.


Raffy Valenzuela, the civil defence chief for Albay province, where Mayon is located, said the makeshift camps were not yet up to standard.


“Some (schoolhouses) don’t have sufficient bathrooms, others have… no running water. We are still fixing these things because this evacuation has been very sudden,” he said.


Chief volcanologist Renato Solidum said that in the “worst-case scenario” of a major eruption, the government might have to evacuate another 15,000 families, or roughly 75,000 people.


Military trucks and even heavy trucks intended for construction projects are being used to evacuate the residents, Solidum said.


The government is ready to forcibly evacuate all villagers within the danger zone but there has been no resistance so far, he added.


The Mayon threat has come at a particularly inconvenient time of the year for the evacuees as they, like most of the other 92 million people in the predominantly Christian country, prepare for Christmas celebrations.


Defence Secretary Norberto Gonzales, who is in charge of disaster preparations, conducted an aerial survey of the volcano using a military helicopter on Wednesday.


He promised to distribute thousands of face masks to villagers to protect them from the effects of any volcanic ashfall.


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level for Mayon to three on Monday after lava was seen spewing from the crater, and evacuations began immediately.


Level three on the five-point scale means a hazardous eruption is likely in the very near future.


Mayon, which sits above a farming area about 330 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Manila, has erupted 48 times since records began, claiming thousands of lives.


In 1814, more than 1,200 people were killed as lava buried the town of Cagsawa.


However the 2,460-metre (8,070-feet) volcano remains a popular tourist attraction, and is famous for its perfect cone.


The Philippines is part of the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” that is known for its volcanic activity. The Philippine volcanology institute lists 22 active volcanoes in the country.


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Chinese PM heads to Copenhagen talks

In World on December 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

BEIJING, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao left for Copenhagen on Wednesday, the foreign ministry said, to join other world leaders for UN talks aimed at hammering out a pact to combat climate change beyond 2012.


Wen was expected to address the summit in the Danish capital to elaborate on China’s stance, the ministry said in a statement on its website.








Pederstrians walk past a chimney emitting smoke from a coal-fired power plant in Beijing on December 16, 2009 (AFP photo)

Negotiators in Copenhagen have just three days left to broker one of the most ambitious yet complex deals in human history, but days of bitter wrangling between key players have prompted warnings of failure.


China and the United States — the world’s two biggest carbon polluters — have brushed aside European calls for concessions on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the thorniest issue of all at the UN talks.


The summit aims to secure national pledges to curb the heat-trapping carbon gases wreaking havoc with Earth’s climate system, and set up a mechanism to provide billions of dollars for poor countries facing worsening drought, flood, storms and rising seas.


China has vowed to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, but experts say its emissions could still double, given economic growth projections.


Beijing also has said developed nations should take the lead in committing to substantial emission reduction targets and provide financial and technical help to poor countries battling climate change.


On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the world’s poorest nations should get “priority” in the allocation of funds from rich countries.


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World leaders gather amid warnings on climate pact

In World on December 16, 2009 at 10:31 am

COPENHAGEN, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – World leaders gather at climate talks on Wednesday after UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged them to seize a “defining moment in history” and seal a global pact to halt the juggernaut of climate change.



Negotiators in Copenhagen have just three days left to broker one of the most ambitious yet complex deals in human history, but days of bitter wrangling between key players have provoked grim warnings of failure.








Britain’s Prince Charles (L) talks with Danish COP15 President Connie Hedegaard during the high level opening ceremony at the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen 15 December 2009. AFP PHOTO

China and the United States — the world’s two biggest carbon polluters — have brushed aside European calls for concessions on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the thorniest issue of all at the UN talks.


The summit aims to secure national pledges to curb the heat-trapping carbon gases wreaking havoc with Earth’s climate system, and set up a mechanism to provide billions of dollars for poor countries facing worsening drought, flood, storms and rising seas.


Ban told world leaders at the opening of the full ministerial session on Tuesday they faced a “defining moment in history.”


“We know what we must do. We know what the world expects. Our job here and now is to seal the deal, a deal in our common interest.”


Talks were moving too slowly, he warned, making it difficult for the leaders to reach agreement in the remaining days.


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said sealing a deal was going to be “very difficult” with many issues to be resolved.


Former US vice president and environmental activist Al Gore called for world leaders to meet in Mexico City in July to complete the process.


But reflecting the deadlock, a new draft text gave no figures for a long-term goal of reducing emissions, a peak for emissions, an intended limit to warming, nor on financing for poor countries exposed to climate change.


These core questions were farmed out to small parties of ministers, charged with brokering a consensus by Friday when some 120 heads of state and government are to reach an outline political deal.


Any Copenhagen pact would be fleshed out next year in further talks, culminating in a treaty that would take effect from 2013.


Conference chairwoman Connie Hedegaard of Denmark said success was still within reach.


But she added: “We can’t risk failure. No one here can carry that responsibility. That means that the keyword for the next two days must be compromise.”


But both China and the United States appeared in little mood to move on the key issue of emissions.


US President Barack Obama has offered to cut US carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020 over a 2005 benchmark, a figure that aligns with legislation put before the US Congress.


The offer by the United States, the world’s second biggest polluter after China, has been widely criticised by other parties as inadequate.


“I am not anticipating any change in the mitigation commitment,” said US chief delegate Todd Stern, explaining that it was tied to legislation currently before Congress.


Beijing’s climate ambassador said China’s voluntary plan for braking the forecast growth in its emissions was not open to negotiation.


“We announced those targets, we don’t intend to put them up for discussion,” Yu Qingtai told reporters.


China also said Wednesday it was opposed to “carbon tariffs” being imposed on the developing world, an idea floated in Europe and the United States.


Europe, which has already pledged to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020 in comparison with 1990 and offered to go to 30 percent if others follow suit, said the big polluters had to relent on cuts.


“There are two countries in the world representing half the emissions of the world, and that’s the United States and China,” said Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, representing the 27-nation European Union.


European powerhouse Germany likewise pointed the finger.


“Both want to keep every option open up to the last hours of the conference… We don’t have much time left,” said its environment minister Norbert Roettgen.


EU leaders last week agreed a package of 7.2 billion euros (10.6 billion dollars) in aid to help developing countries tackle global warming.


But the Group of 77 developing nations — actually a caucus of 130 states that includes China — said the proposal failed to address the issue of setting up long-term financing mechanisms.


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Eyes of the world are on you, UN chief tells climate summit

In World on December 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

COPENHAGEN, Dec 16, 2009 (AFP) – UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders Tuesday at a “defining moment in history” to put aside selfish national interest and answer a global clamour to halt the juggernaut of climate change.








COP15 President Connie Hedegaard (L), Danish Prime Mininster Lars Loekke Rasmussen, (C) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (R) during a press conference after the High Level opening ceremony in Copenhagen on December 15, 2009. AFP PHOTO

With just over three days left to broker one of the most ambitious, yet also fiendishly complex, deals in human history, conference chair Denmark appealed for all sides to embrace the spirit of compromise.


But China and the United States — the world’s two biggest carbon polluters — brushed aside European calls for concessions on emissions reductions, the thorniest issue of all.


The summit aims at sealing national pledges to curb the heat-trapping carbon gases wreaking havoc with Earth’s climate system, and set up a mechanism to provide billions of dollars for poor countries facing worsening drought, flood, storms and rising seas.


Crowned on Friday by a meeting of some 120 heads of state and government, the outline political deal would be fleshed out next year in further talks, culminating in a treaty that would take effect from 2013.


But former US vice president and environmental activist Al Gore, voicing widely held fears that Copenhagen might yield only a partial success, called for world leaders to meet in Mexico City in July to complete the process.


Ban, speaking at the formal start of the full ministerial session known as the high level segment, spoke of a “defining moment in history.


“We know what we must do. We know what the world expects. Our job here and now is to seal the deal, a deal in our common interest.”


Talks were moving too slowly, he warned.


“If they want to leave all these issues to the leaders, it may be very difficult for them to agree in just one or two days,” he later told reporters.


The talks’ chairwoman, Denmark’s Connie Hedegaard, said success was still within reach.


But she added: “We can’t risk failure. No one here can carry that responsibility. That means that the keyword for the next two days must be compromise.”


But both China and the United States appeared in little mood to move on the key issue of emissions.


US President Barack Obama has offered to cut US carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020 over a 2005 benchmark, a figure that aligns with legislation put before the US Congress.


The offer by the United States, the world’s second biggest polluter after China, has been widely criticised by other parties as inadequate.


“I am not anticipating any change in the mitigation commitment,” said US chief delegate Todd Stern, explaining that it was tied to legislation currently before Congress.


Beijing’s climate ambassador said China’s voluntary plan for braking the forecast growth in its emissions was not open to negotiation.


“We announced those targets, we don’t intend to put them up for discussion,” Yu Qingtai told reporters.


Europe, which has already pledged to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020 in comparison with 1990 and offered to go to 30 percent if others follow suit, said the big polluters had to relent.


“There are two countries in the world representing half the emissions of the world, and that’s the United States and China,” said Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, representing the 27-nation European Union.


European powerhouse Germany likewise pointed the finger.


“Both want to keep every option open up to the last hours of the conference … We don’t have much time left,” said its environment minister Norbert Roettgen.


The European Union’s new president Herman Van Rompuy also urged other nations to follow Europe’s lead, telling reporters in Lisbon, “We have to deal with other urgent questions. The most important of course is climate change.”


EU leaders last week agreed a package of 7.2 billion euros (10.6 billion dollars) in aid to help developing countries tackle global warming.


But the Group of 77 developing nations — actually a caucus of 130 states that includes China — said the proposal failed to address the issue of setting up long-term financing mechanisms.


In Copenhagen meanwhile, reflecting deadlock, a new draft text gave no figures for a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, a peak for emissions, an intended limit to warming, nor on financing for poor countries exposed to climate change.


These core questions were farmed out to small parties of ministers, charged with brokering a consensus by Friday.


The summit is billed as one of the most important gatherings of the post-World War II era.


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