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Archive for May 17th, 2010|Daily archive page

Latest heat wave overwhelms country

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:04 am

Meteorologists say it is going to be especially hot in Vietnam again this week, as a new hot spell from the west is due to move through the country, beginning Monday.

Motorists cover up in the sweltering weather (Filed Photo: DanTri)

The National Hydro Meteorological Forecast Center predicts that common temperatures in the northern and central regions will hit 33-38 Celsius degrees. At some places, temperatures are expected soar above 40 degrees, during peak hours.

The northern region will likely see thunderstorms and whirlwinds intersperse with periods of grueling heat.

The recent heat has affected the entire country, including the Central Highlands and southern provinces.  Highest temperatures in the southern region would touch 34-37 Celsius degrees.

In the Central Highlands, the weather should hover around 33-36 degrees together with showers, which should occur in the late afternoons.

Source: SGGP

VN-Index plunges as investors dump shares

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

The VN-Index, a measure of 228 companies and four mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, sank on May 17 as investors sold heavily to cut losses.

The benchmark lost 9.45 points, or 1.81 percent, to finish at 511.27. Liquidity on the city bourse remained low as around 55.1 million shares were traded, worth VND1.67 trillion.

On the index, 32 stocks advanced, 185 declined, and 15 were unchanged.

Binh Thanh Import Export Production and Trade Joint Stock Company (GIL) gave up 22.34 percent to trade at VND28,500.

From April 14 to 28 SSI Vision Fund, a major shareholder of GIL, bought 128,000 shares, sending it holdings to 639,560 shares, accounting 6.26 percent of chartered capital.

Sugar producer Société De Bourbon Tay Ninh (SBT) lost 13.38 percent to VND12,300 from VND14,200 on the previous day.

Hanoi-based IT company CMC Corporation (CMG) and My Chau Printing & Packaging Holding Company (MCP) both slid 5 percent to VND26,600 and VND13,300 respectively.

Ma San Group Corporation (MSN) rose by 5 percent to trade at VND44,100 from VND42,000.

Gia Lai Cane Sugar Thermoelectricity Joint Stock Company (SEC) climbed up 4.96 percent to VND36,00.

Dien Quang Joint Stock Company (DQC) and Hoang Long Group (HLG) traded at VND53,500 and VND45,000, both up 4.9 percent.

Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI) was the most active stock in volume with 2.93 million shares being changed hands. The country’s largest brokerage closed down 4.09 percent.

Saigon Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) came next with 2.39 million shares, followed by Ocean Group Joint Stock Company (OGC) with 1.45 million shares.

Hanoi’s HNX-Index slumped 3.1 points, or 1.79 percent, to close at 169.6 points. Around 42.28 million shares, worth VND1.45 trillion, changed hands. In the trading session this morning, foreign investors returned to buying mood as purchase value reached VND1.9 billion.

The UPCoM-Index also slid 0.36 points to 51.86. A total of 130,008 shares was traded at VND2 billion.

Source: SGGP

Investment bank opens branch in Cambodia

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) opened its first branch in Cambodia on May 15 in the presence of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong and his Cambodian counterpart Men Sam On.

The Vietnamese-invested Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia (BIDC) has a charter capital of USD70 million  and is the second largest bank of its kind in Cambodia.

In addition to BIDC, BIDV opens representative offices and invests in other projects in Cambodia, such as the Cambodia Investment and Development Joint Stock Company and the Vietnam-Cambodia Insurance Joint Stock Company.

Source: SGGP

Singers to congratulate best footballers of 2009

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

Phuong Thanh, Thu Minh and Ha Anh Tuan are among the famous singers scheduled to take part in the Golden Ball football awards, to be held May 17, at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House.

                          Singer Ha Anh Tuan

It will be the third time that Ha Anh Tuan performs at the award ceremony. “I am so glad to take part in the Golden Ball football awards to send my best wishes to football talents of the country” he said.

Best male and female footballers of the year, Pham Thanh Luong, and Doan Thi Kim Chi, are his favorite players.

“I usually participate in programs on football. I have never abandoned my love for football” singer Phuong Thanh said. She will perform two interesting songs in the music gala.

Thu Minh, another artist repeatedly invited to take part in the annual event, also expressed a desire to share her love of football with fans and players honored at the Golden Ball awards.

Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper has organized the voting for the awards since 1995, sent 138 ballots to sport journalists, football experts, and coaches around the country.

Golden Ball 2009 honors for best male and female footballers of the year will go to Hanoi ACB Club’s halfback Pham Thanh Luong, and Doan Thi Kim Chi, a member of the Vietnamese women’s football team.

The gala night provides football fans a chance to meet this year’s top football players Le Huynh Duc, Le Cong Vinh, Luu Ngoc Mai, as well as other well-known players.

Related article:
Best footballers of the year announced

Source: SGGP

Foreigners remember late President Ho Chi Minh

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

Among the more than 50 international delegates who attended the May 12 international seminar titled “Ho Chi Minh’s heritage in the current era,” many has expressed profound sentiments, recalling the late leader’s unforgettable memories legacy.

Chinese Prof. Gu Yuan Yang, 75, told SGGP that he was very glad to attend the seminar, considering one of the great honors of his life. “I have had a strong attachment to Vietnam and it is common for us elderly to recall the past.”

After entering the Oriental Language Department of Beijing University in 1956, Mr. Yang chose Vietnamese language as his major.

“Many people asked why I took on the subject I simply replied that I hoped that I would meet President Ho Chi Minh some day,” he said.

Dr. E. V. Kobelev (2nd R) and National Assembly chairman Nguyen Phu Trong (2nd L) and other delegates at an international seminar on Ho Chi Minh’s legacy, held in Hanoi, May 12 (Photo: SGGP) 

His dream came when he was studying at Hanoi University and met President Ho Chi Minh, who visited the school in 1963.

”Until now a sense of happiness remains in me when I saw him for the first time in my life,” he said.

In 1990, he recalled being the sole Chinese delegate at an international seminar commemorating the 100th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh. After completing his presentation, General Vo Nguyen Giap embraced him intimately.

”One year later, at an international seminar on Ho Chi Minh’s thought, held in India, I met General Giap again, who told me that some unpleasing incidents occurred between Vietnam and China, but that those incidents were just like black clouds that would drift away in the wind, allowing blue skies to reemerge,” he said.

Over the past 20 years, Prof. Yang has dedicated himself to the promotion of cooperation in the academic domain between Vietnam and China. In 2005, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai invited Yang to the seventh National Congress of Patriotic Emulation.

“The great image of Ho Chi Minh, his great thought, and his legacy to humankind will be remembered forever by the world,” he said.

Russian delegate Dr. E. V. Kobelev, Vice President of the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association, who can speak Vietnamese fluently, was a student at Hanoi University in the 1950’s and a reporter who covered Vietnam for the Soviet Union news agency TASS in the 1960’s.

“I once lived in Vietnam for five years during which I had many opportunities to see and listen to President Ho Chi Minh,” he said.

In spring of 1959, he met President Ho Chi Minh for the first time in Hanoi while he joined Hanoi students in planting a tree at Bay Mau Lake.
“The President greeted us happily and joined in the planting,” Kobelev recalled.

“Since then, every time I have a chance to visit Hanoi, I return to the lake and contemplate the trees we planted with the President in the old days,” he confided. 
He wrote a book on late President Ho Chi Minh: “Comrade Ho Chi Minh,” in tribute to his fond memories of the late leader.

Kobelev said one of the most memorable moments in his life occurred when he served as a translator for the Vietnamese delegation, at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1961.

“President Ho Chi Minh praised each of us for our Vietnamese fluency at the congress,” he remembered.

“That guy speaking Vietnamese with a Hanoi accent is quite good in interpretation,” Kobelev recalled Ho Chi Minh’s comments on his Vietnamese specifically.

He said he would remember forever the voice of President Ho Chi Minh urging his Vietnamese compatriots to maintain their determination in defeating the American invaders, from speech broadcast on the Hanoi radio station, July 17, 1966.

The President’s speech came amidst American bombing raids on the capital city that day, he recalled.     
Kobelev also said he and many people of his generation still remembered the day when Ho Chi Minh visited the Soviet Union for the first time in 1955, as president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

“He was a great, sincere friend of the Soviet Union but he was also a man of simplicity and modesty. His image has remained unforgotten by the Russian people, even now,” he concluded.

Source: SGGP

HCMC resident’s devotion to Uncle Ho remains unchanged

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

Mr. Ho Dai Phuoc speaks at his daughter’s wedding (Photo: SGGP)

Years before Ho Dai Phuoc ever visited Uncle Ho’s mausoleum, this loyal reader of Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper began contributing money to upkeep the late leader’s mausoleum.  Now, Mr. Phuoc has visited the late President’s final resting place three times, witnessing the memorial he has helped to fund for 17 years.

An average resident in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District, Mr. Phuoc visits the Sai Gon Giai Phong office every year sometime during week of Ho Chi Minh’s birthday, to give more financial support to the fund. 

The sums of money vary, depending on how well his business fared that year. Mr. Phuoc’s devotion to the country’s late president has touched the hearts of many and encouraged them to contribute to the fund as well. This year, Sai Gon Giai Phong has donated VND20 million to the fund.

He in addition to giving money to the fund through the newspaper, Mr. Phuoc has sent money directly to the Mausoleum Management Board in Hanoi on three occasions.

Not only does he pledge his support financially, but he and his family also lay a basket of flowers in front of the statue of Uncle Ho on Nguyen Hue Street every May 19 – Uncle Ho’s birthday – to venerate the great father of the nation.

Recently he encouraged his eldest daughter, who was recently married on April 3, to donate her wedding money to the cause, as well as to institutions dedicated to easing the plight of the homeless elderly, orphans and dioxin victims.

Ho Dai Phuoc ever visited Uncle Ho’s mausoleum, this loyal reader of Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper began contributing money to upkeep the late leader’s mausoleum (Photo; U. Phuong)

Mr. Phuoc said that while over the years, his life has changed in many ways, his love for and devotion to the nation’s founding father maintains the just as strong as ever.

Source: SGGP

Prudential launches record cash call to buy Asian insurer

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

LONDON, May 17, 2010 (AFP) – British insurance giant Prudential said Monday it will raise 14.5 billion pounds (17 billion euros, 21 billion dollars) from the sale of new shares to help fund a record takeover of Asian insurer AIA.

“Prudential today announces further details of the proposed combination of the Prudential Group and the AIA Group, including the terms of its fully underwritten rights issue to raise approximately 14.5 billion pounds,” a statement said.

The British group had delayed by almost two weeks details of the record rights issue needed to fund the insurance sector’s biggest ever takeover, as regulators voiced concerns about the enlarged company’s capital strength.

Prudential announced in March that it had agreed to buy AIA — the Asian arm of troubled US insurer AIG — for 35.5 billion dollars (29 billion euros).

It expects to complete the takeover in the third quarter of 2010 while reports suggest Prudential may have to sell its British operations to fund the rest of the deal.

“We are creating the leading life insurer in the fastest growing region in the world, giving us greater exposure to the highly attractive long-term growth offered in Asia,” Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath said Monday.

“We believe this opportunity will deliver substantial long-term value for our shareholders.”

The takeover will give Prudential about 30 million customers in Asia and see the Asian operation become by far the group’s biggest division — contributing some 60 percent of new business profit.

Regarding the rights issue, Prudential said it was offering almost 14 billion new shares, each priced at 104 pence. According to analytical group Dealogic, the rights issue is the biggest ever launched to fund a takeover.

Current Prudential investors will be offered 11 new shares for every two shares they own. The sale price represents an 80.8-percent discount to the insurer’s closing price of 542.5 pence on Friday.

Prudential’s share price dropped 2.67 percent to 528.5 pence at the start of London trade.

The AIA deal and the rights issue need 75-percent backing at a shareholders’ meeting due on June 7.

“The combined business will be a fast growing and highly profitable company, with a leading position in many of the most attractive markets in the world,” Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam insisted on Monday.

“We believe that, through capital management and portfolio rationalisation, there will be opportunities for the combined entity to create additional shareholder value over and beyond the revenue and cost synergies identified,” added the Frenchman who put together the mega-deal.

Reports have suggested however that some of Prudential’s biggest shareholders are opposed to the tie-up.

The rights issue is meanwhile set to raise about 13.8 billion pounds net of fees and transaction-related expenses, while it is being fully-underwritten by Credit Suisse, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Cazenove plus by a syndicate.

These groups will take up any shares not bought by existing shareholders.

Alongside the rights issue, London-listed Prudential has said it plans to begin trading existing shares in Hong Kong and Singapore on May 25.

The listings are seen as a move to garner support from regional investors for the rights issue.

The Hong Kong and Singapore listings will be done by way of introduction, which means adding trading venues without issuing new shares.

The acquisition of AIA will double the size of Prudential and transform it into the world’s top non-Chinese insurer by market capitalisation, ahead of major competitors Allianz and AXA.

Sales in Asia already make up half of new contracts for Prudential across a number of countries including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The company also has a strong presence in Britain and the United States.

Source: SGGP

Iran inks deal to send enriched uranium to Turkey

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran inked a nuclear fuel swap deal Monday which commits it to ship 1,200 kilograms of low enriched uranium to Turkey, potentially ending a standoff with world powers gearing for new sanctions against the Islamic republic.

The agreement, under which Iran will in return receive nuclear fuel for a Tehran reactor, was signed in the Iranian capital between the foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey and Brazil, an AFP correspondent said.

(L-R) Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hold hands after Iran inked a nuclear fuel swap deal in Tehran on May 17, 2010. AFP photo

The signing came after three-way talks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Under the agreement, Iran will deposit 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of its low enriched uranium in Turkey.

“While in Turkey this LEU will continue to be the property of Iran. Iran and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) may station observers to monitor the safekeeping of the LEU in Turkey,” the accord reads.

“Iran will notify the IAEA in writing through official channels of its agreement with the above within seven days following the date of this declaration,” it adds.

Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters that it would then be up to the IAEA to inform “the Vienna group” — the United States, France and Russia — of the proposal.

The three powers have been at the forefront of efforts to persuade Iran to accept a UN-backed deal brokered last October, under which Iran was required to ship its LEU to Russia to be further enriched and then on to France to make nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

Iran had so far stalled on the deal, insisting it wants to keep the LEU on its own soil for a simultaneous swap with reactor fuel.

Its refusal to sign on the IAEA accord prompted major powers led by the United States to threaten a fourth round of UN sanctions against the Islamic republic for failing to halt its uranium enrichment activities.

Should the Vienna group accept the deal, the accord says, Iran would deliver 1,200 kilograms of LEU to Turkey within a month and would expect to receive from the world powers 120 kilos of fuel for Tehran’s research reactor within a year.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu told reporters after Monday’s signing that Anakra now sees “no need” for further UN sanctions against Iran.

“This agreement should be regarded positively and there is no need for sanctions now that we (Turkey and Brazil) have made guarantees and the low enriched uranium will remain in Turkey,” he said.

But Israel, which along with many Western powers suspects Iran is using its nuclear enrichment programme to mask a drive for atomic weapons, immediately accused Tehran of trickery.

“The Iranians have manipulated Turkey and Brazil,” a senior Israeli official in Jerusalem told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The Iranians have already pulled off such a trick in the past — by pretending to accept such a procedure to lower tensions and reduce the risk of harsher international sanctions, then refusing to follow through,” he said.

There was no immediate reaction from the IAEA.

Brazil’s president, in Iran for a summit of non-aligned countries, held talks on the nuclear issue with Iran’s leadership Sunday.

At Iran’s invitation, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan arrived at around midnight local time (1930 GMT) Sunday to join Lula.

At the heart of the international dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme is the suspicion in the West that Iran wants the highly enriched uranium it produces to make an atomic bomb — a charge Tehran vehemently denies.

In recent days both Russia and the United States made it clear that they considered Lula’s visit to Iran as Tehran’s last chance to stave off sanctions.

Turkey and Brazil are both currently non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Both have so far resisted US-led efforts to push through a fourth package of sanctions over Iran’s failure to heed repeated ultimatums to suspend its sensitive uranium enrichment activities.

Source: SGGP

Chiefs of Samsung and Sony to meet

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

SEOUL, May 17, 2010 (AFP) – Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-Hee is to meet his counterpart from Japan’s Sony Corp in Seoul next week, officials at the Korean company said Monday.

Lee will meet Howard Stringer on May 24 at Samsung’s reception house in central Seoul, a Samsung Electronics spokesman said without disclosing agenda details.

(AFP FILES) Employees walk past a sign outside Samsung Electronics in Suwon, south of Seoul, 24 February 2005.

The Asian electronics giants have worked together since the 1990s in the semiconductor and liquid crystal display (LCD) fields.

In 2004 they established a joint venture, S-LCD, in South Korea to jointly produce LCD panels mainly used for televisions.

The Maeil business newspaper said Stringer is expected to ask for an increase in the supply of LCD panels from Samsung.

It said both sides would also discuss ways to improve collaboration in other business areas including 3D technology.

Samsung is likely to face greater competition this year from Japanese TV makers as they vie for a share of the nascent 3D TV market.

Source: SGGP

Renegade Thai general ‘Seh Daeng’ dies

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

BANGKOK, May 17, 2010 (AFP) – A renegade Thai general who became an unofficial military advisor to the thousands of anti-government protesters occupying central Bangkok, died Monday of a head wound sustained last week.

Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol, 58, better known by his non-de-guerre Seh Daeng, or “Commander Red”, died in hospital four days after being shot in the head at the sprawling anti-government protester camp.

He had been in intensive care since being shot while giving an interview to a foreign reporter at the fortified base and deteriorated Sunday, medics said.

Soldiers remove barbed wire after they reopened part of a tourist district which they earlier sealed off on Sukhumvit road in downtown Bangkok on May 17, 2010. AFP photo

While the army denied shooting the outspoken general, it had warned it would deploy snipers in the area as part of efforts to end two months of protests that have turned swathes of the capital into no-go zones.

It remained unclear who shot him.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva this month accused Seh Daeng of prolonging the street demonstrations and the rogue general made no secret of the fact he opposed any reconciliation deal with the government.

“It’s important that I’m here. Everyone is here because Seh Daeng is here,” he told AFP in an interview just a day before he was shot.

Seh Daeng was surrounded by knots of fans seeking his autograph and photo whenever he walked through the rally site.

Vendors at the camp displayed best-selling books about the supposed jungle warfare adventures that turned him into a Thai legend.

Seh Daeng was loyal to the Red Shirts’ hero, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was unseated in a 2006 coup, and even visited him in his self-imposed exile.

The general was suspended from duty in January and faced dismissal from the Thai army after a panel found him guilty of military crimes.

He traced his fallout with commanders to 2008 when he publicly criticised the head of the army and was reassigned to lead aerobics classes at a local market.

“Everybody laughed at me. You don’t assign a warrior like me to do a stupid thing like that,” Seh Daeng said.

“Do you know the ‘Braveheart’ movie? Mel Gibson is the same as me,” he said, equating himself to the kilted onscreen figure who was betrayed by the Scottish aristocracy.

Seh Daeng had a reputation for making bizarre statements, but many saw his hardline role in the protests as a sign that the political crisis, which has now left a total of 66 dead and about 1,700 wounded, could get more violent.

After his shooting, it did.

Thai troops and the Reds have fought street battles on the fringes of the protesters’ encampment since late last week.

Authorities accused Seh Daeng of having a hand in dozens of unsolved grenade attacks in Bangkok, while others alleged he trained mysterious black-clad gunmen who fired at troops during street clashes.

The general denied any involvement in the violence, saying he concentrated on inspecting the barricades of fuel-soaked tyres, bamboo poles and razor wire that he designed and erected at the Reds’ base.

An agreement to fold up the encampment looked imminent early this month when the Reds initially accepted a proposal for November elections, but efforts to reach a deal that would see them go home subsequently broke down.

Core Red leaders also publicly distanced themselves from Seh Daeng as protests became increasingly violent — and he treated the movement’s leaders with contempt.

“The Red Shirt leaders themselves are cheating. They’re doing it for themselves. They’re not doing it for the people who come to rally,” he said.

Source: SGGP