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Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Urgent need to intervene in domestic petrol market

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Urgent need to intervene in domestic petrol market

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:1 (GMT+7)

Local petrol businesses are being put under constant pressure to increase their petrol prices due to strong fluctuations in the global market.

They have called for a price stabilisation fund to be established or the introduction of tougher measures to reduce tax instead of raising domestic petrol prices. It’s time for State management agencies to intervene in the domestic petrol market, they added.

Considerable pressure for increasing petrol prices

Recently, the Ministry of Finance has received proposals from the Mekong Oil and Gas Joint Stock Company, the Vietnam Oil Corporation, the Ho Chi Minh City Oil and Gas Company and the Vietnam National Petroleum Corporation (Petrolimex), asking the Ministry to adjust domestic petrol prices in line with the surging price on the world’s petrol market.

They insist that after two price increases, VND1,040/litre each time they still suffered losses.

According to Nguyen Xuan Chai, head of Petrolimex’s marketing department, previous to March 26, petrol had been selling at VND16,990/litre while its production costs had reached VND18,023/litre. Therefore, petrol businesses had suffered an estimated loss of VND733/litre. They had also lost between VND522-530/litre for diesel and paraffin oil.

At present, Petrolimex businesses are suffering an average loss of VND600-700/litre, while Saigon Petrol, which accounts for 8 percent of the total domestic market share, claimed that they faced losses of VND800/litre for petrol, and VND500-600/litre for oil products.

A senior spokeperson for Petrolimex said that Decree 84 allows petrol businesses to increase oil and petrol prices by 7 percent. “However, we did not adjust our petrol prices because we followed the directions issued by the Price Management Department that asked businesses not to increase their petrol prices, the Petrolimex leader explained.

How to control petrol prices?

Decree 84 states that in case the production costs of petrol increases by more than 12 percent or the increase in the petrol price makes a strong impact on socio-economic development and people’s living conditions, the State allows businesses to apply price stabilising measures through adjusting tax, using the price stabilization fund and following the current regulations.

In recent years, petrol prices on the global market have risen constantly while in Vietnam the government has asked ministries, agencies and localities to implement comprehensive measures to stabilise the macro-economy and control the inflation rate. Hence, the Price Management Department issued a memorandum asking local businesses not to increase petrol prices.

Nevertheless, local petrol businesses are continually being put under pressure as they are suffering losses, but still have to wait for instructions from the Ministry of Finance. Most of them say it’s time to use a price stabilisation fund or reduce taxes to ease their difficulties.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Stricter rules for commercial banks

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Stricter rules for commercial banks

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

The State Bank of Vietnam issued Circular No 09/2010/TT-NHNN on March 26, regulating the establishment of commercial banks.

The new regulation provides that founding shareholders may not contribute authorised capital in the form of loans and will be held responsible for the legality of the contribution.

Founding shareholders are subject to strict financial capacity requirements and must be an enterprise duly established under the Law on Enterprises or a Vietnamese citizen not prohibited under Article 13.2 of the Law on Enterprises.

Commercial banks must have at least 100 shareholders, at least three of which are enterprises that have operated for at least five years, have capital of at least 500 billion VND (26.32 million USD) for five consecutive years prior to the year of the application to establish the commercial bank.

A bank serving as a founding shareholder of another bank must have assets of at least 50 trillion VND (2.63 billion USD).

The circular takes place 45 days after its issuance.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Tu Dam Pagoda restoration completed

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Tu Dam Pagoda restoration completed

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

The Thua Thien-Hue Buddhist Association on March 30 held a ceremony to mark the restoration of the Tu Dam Pagoda.

The restoration of one of the biggest pagodas in the central city of Hue cost 13 billion VND (685,000 USD) and took four years to complete.

The restoration work, beginning in July 2006, included restoration of the main sanctuary, the conference house, service hall and a monastery.

A new 27m high seven-storey tower was also built. Each storey has a Buddha statue.

Known was An Ton Pagoda when it was built in the late 17 th century, its name was changed in 1841.

Located in the city’s Truong An ward, it is now a major spiritual centre for Buddhists in the city and the central region.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Khanh Hoa claims full control of bird flu epidemic

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Khanh Hoa claims full control of bird flu epidemic

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

The southern province of Khanh Hoa on March 31 reported that said it has successfully controlled the influenza epidemic in its two districts of Ninh Hoa and Van Ninh.

This is thanks to the province’s intensive efforts to combat the epidemic in the region. People involved in the epidemic prevention campaign will receive VND50,000 per day for weekdays and VND100,000 per day at weekends and holidays, respectively.

The province had earlier announced the outbreak of epidemic on March 1.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Walk around Sword Lake for autism integration

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Walk around Sword Lake for autism integration

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

Hanoi Autistics’ Family Club and channel O2TV will join hands in holding a meeting and a walk with the aim of assisting autistics with community integration on April 11th in Hanoi.

More than 400 families of children with autism and volunteers together with well-known artist Duc Hai will participate in a parade around the Sword Lake with a slogan “Together support children with autism to integrate into the community”.

The parade will help raise awareness of autism and to call for more supports for autism-affected children.

Autism has been known in Vietnam for nearly a decade. There will be unprecedented consequence of autism, which is growing, if the community does not know exactly what autism is.

No conclusive reasons for or treatment to autism have been found to date.

However, it is understanding and sympathy that can help people with autism integrate into the community.

The sooner children with autism are identified and treated, the more hopes for an independent life and a stable job they will have.

Source: Vietnam+

Translated by Mai Huong

Source: QDND

Government, Court and procuracy boost cooperation

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Government, Court and procuracy boost cooperation

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

A resolution to build an inter-agency cooperation mechanism between the Government, the People’s Supreme Court and the People’s Supreme Procuracy was signed in Hanoi on March 31 in the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

This was an important legal event to help maintain order, discipline and enforcement of State laws and fulfill the set socio-economic targets.

The mechanism specifically stipulates the responsibilities of each side to boost effective cooperation in building strategies for socio-economic development, law-making, anti- crime, legal education, personnel training and dealing with criminal, civil and administrative cases.

In his speech, PM Dung asked all ministries, sectors, government agencies and people’s committees to closely coordinate with the People’s Supreme Court and the People’s Supreme Procuracy to implement the mechanism properly.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Vietnam, US cooperate in curbing climate change

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Vietnam, US cooperate in curbing climate change

QĐND – Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

The US – Vietnam Climate Change Working Group gather in Hanoi on March 31 for a three-day meeting to discuss combating climate change in Vietnam along with drawing up future plans for the group.

The group will map out its activities based on research into the effects of climate change, the capacity of Vietnam’s agricultural sector to adapt to it, and solutions for natural disasters in the Mekong Delta region, said Dr Tran Thuc, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment.

During the three-day event, the participants will conduct field trips to study climate change in the coastal district of Hai Hau, Nam Dinh province.

The meeting contributes to increasing US-Vietnam cooperation while showing the American country’s role in dealing with the global issue, said US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak.

The joint working group was established in late 2008 as part of a cooperation agreement between the two countries.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Stocks slump below 500

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 10:56 am

Vietnam benchmark’s VN-Index slipped off the 500-point mark on March 31 under selling pressure. Liquidity fell 12 percent in quantity and 11 percent in value over the previous day.

The shares of 215 companies and four mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange tumbled 0.29 percent, or 1.48 points, to close at 499.24. Total trading volume dropped to 52.3 million shares, worth more than VND2 trillion.

Among the index members, 107 fell, 68 gained and 45 were flat.

Decliners on the southern bourse were led by South Logistics Joint Stock Company (STG), which closed down 4.96 percent to VND32,600; HCMC-based Seafood Joint Stock Company No4 (TS4); and Long Giang Investment and Urban Development Joint Stock Company (LGL) located in Hanoi.

Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank, or Eximbank (EIB), topped the list of most active shares in volume with 3.87 million shares trading at VND23,400, up 0.43 percent. Nam Viet Corporation (ANV) came next with 1.99 million shares, followed by Cables and Telecommunications Material Joint Stock Company (SAM), which saw 1.83 million shares change hands.

Construction company Long Hau Corporation (LHG), located in Long An Province, was the biggest winner. Its stock gained the daily maximum allowed limit of 5 percent to VND63,000.

Cuongthuan Investment Corporation (CTI) was next, gaining 4.98 percent to VND25,300.

Vien Dong Investment Development Trading Corporation (VDI) followed with an increase of 4.96 percent to trade at VND12,700.

The northern market was also in the red as the HNX-Index dropped to 160.55, down 1.82 points or 1.12 percent over Wednesday. More than 22.4 million shares were traded at VND750.4 billion.

Meanwhile, the UPCoM-Index gained 0.07 points or 0.15 percent to 46.05. A total of VND5 billion was spent trading 337,272 shares.

Source: SGGP

12 killed in south Russia bombing 2 days after Moscow attacks

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 10:55 am

Twin blasts rocked Russia’s North Caucasus region of Dagestan just two days after 39 people were killed in two subway explosions in Moscow, RIA-Novosti reported on Wednesday.

A scene of the suicide bombing in Kizlyar on March 31, 2010. (RIA- Novosti photo)

The death toll from the explosions in the town of Kizlyar near Chechnya on Wednesday morning currently stands at 12, 23 people have been hospitalized.

The first blast occurred at 08:45 Moscow time (04:45 GMT), and the other came 20 minutes later. The explosions occurred some 300 meters from the buildings of the Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service and a school.

“An explosive device was detonated when a car was leaving the city Interior Ministry department. According to preliminary information, two Interior Ministry employees were in the car,” investigators said in a statement.

The two police officers were killed by the explosion, which injured several bystanders.

“Around 20 minutes later a suicide bomber, dressed in a police officer’s uniform, arrived at the scene where an investigation group was working, and activated an explosive device he had on his body,” the statement added.

A total of nine policemen were killed in the blasts, including the city’s police chief. A criminal case has been opened into the incidents.

Tatyana Batsina, who works around 800 meters from the scene of the attacks, told RIA Novosti that she heard a loud bang and saw a cloud of smoke rise from behind a nearby school.

“It looked like in a nuclear explosion,” she said. Around half an hour later she said she heard another blast, this time more muted.

“Two cars driving past were also harmed in the explosion. A crowd gathered around the first explosion. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. Several ambulances arrived, then another blast rang out.”

Batsina said a colleague who saw the explosion told her what had happened.

“Bodies that were caught in the epicenter of the explosion were strewn over the street. The blast tore off the roof of the school and broke the windows. The walls of the building shook,” Batsina said.

The president of Dagestan, Magomedsalam Magomedov, left the capital, Makhachkala, to visit the scene of the attack with some other officials, the region’s administrative body told RIA Novosti.

Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev gave orders at a meeting of the Interior Ministry to strengthen security in areas of strategic importance and crowded public places in Dagestan.

“Today’s terrorists will use any target. I ask you to pay attention and be on the alert to all objects of vital importance,” he said

“We must increase vigilance in areas surrounding the interior ministry buildings, executive institutions and legislative authorities,” he added.

The blasts occurred just two days after two deadly suicide bombings hit the Moscow metro on Monday, killing at least 39 people and injuring dozens more. The attackers struck the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations about 40 minutes apart during the morning rush hour.

The Moscow attacks are believed to have been committed by terrorists from Russia’s North Caucasus region.

Russia has been fighting militants in the North Caucasus for almost two decades, including two brutal wars against separatists in Chechnya. Analysts suggested that Monday’s attacks were revenge for a recent police operation that saw the deaths of over 20 radical Islamic fighters.

No connection has been made yet between the incidents in Moscow and Dagestan.

Source: SGGP

Russia may supply Soviet-era engines for U.S. space rockets

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 10:54 am

Russia could soon sign a contract with a U.S. space company on the delivery of Soviet-era rocket boosters in support of the development of the Taurus II space launch vehicle, a Russian newspaper said on Wednesday.

US space rocket Ares I-X

A series of NK-33 rocket engine tests were successfully completed in early March by Russia’s United Engine Corporation/SNTK in Samara. The basic NK-33 engine was originally designed and produced in Russia in late 1960s for the Russian N1 lunar launch vehicle.

The Vedomosti newspaper cited SNTK executive director Nikolai Nikitin as saying that details of a future delivery contract are being discussed with its U.S. partners, Aerojet and Orbital. He did not disclose the value of the deal.

“Aerojet bought about 40 NK-33 engines in mid-1990s, paying $1 million for each unit. The U.S. company has 30 engines at present and will need 20 for 10 launches to the International Space Station,” Nikitin said.

“The price for newly delivered engines should be much higher,” he said, adding that comparable RD-180 space engines are sold to the U.S. by Russia’s Energomash company for $6 million.

The Taurus II launch vehicle is still in development by Orbital, but the company already has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA for eight cargo missions to the International Space Station (ISS) from 2011 through 2015.

Aerojet purchased approximately 40 of the NK-33 engines in the mid-1990s and, under contract with Orbital. The company is currently modifying the engines specifically for the first stage of the Taurus II launcher.

Ron Grabe, Orbital’s executive vice president and general manager of its launch systems group, said after the tests that the success of the NK-33 engine tests in Russia was an important step forward in the development of the Taurus II.

According to estimates, the U.S. companies will need more than 70 NK-33 engines in 2016-2020.

Nikitin said SNTK has about 40 engines in storage but would have to restart production if the U.S. contract is signed.

The resumption of production would cost the company about 4 billion rubles (over $135 million), the official said.

The NK-33 engine has the highest thrust-to-weight ratio of any first-stage rocket engine, and is considered by most characteristics the highest performance rocket engine ever created.

Source: SGGP