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Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

Cold weather remains unabated for next ten days

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:15 am

A bitter cold wave covered northern Vietnam on Sunday, lashing it with rain and cold northeasterly winds. The National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center predicted these conditions would last for a further ten days.


The temperature has dropped to less than 8-9 degrees Celsius in Hanoi and remained below 0 degree Celsius in the mountainous provinces of Lang Son and Cao Bang.


The northern provinces of the central region have also suffered bitter cold winds.


It is expected that the biting cold weather will prevail over northern Vietnam on January 11 and 14 and icy and snowy conditions may cover the Mau Son mountaintop and also other places in the mountainous region.


The entire belt from Da Nang to the southern part of the central region has been affected by this bitter cold wave.


Meanwhile, the Central Highlands and southern regions will continue to experience extreme cold at night and during the early hour of morning. The prevailing temperatures will hover around 18-20 degrees Celsius.

Source: SGGP

VN-Index recoils to near 480

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:14 am

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index dropped the second day, retreating to near 480 points on January 10 as investors lost confidence.

The measure of 276 companies and five mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange shed 0.27 percent, or 1.31 points, to finish at 480.55 points.


Among the index members, 50 gained, 195 fell, while 36 remained unchanged.


Trading volume on the city bourse stayed at low level as around 33.8 million shares changed hands at a value of VND790.37 billion this morning.


Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) led the list of most active shares in volume with 2.39 million shares changing hands.


Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI), the country largest brokerage, followed with 2.13 million shares.


Tan Tao Investment Industry Corporation (ITA) came next with 1.28 million shares.


Cuong Thuan Investment Corporation (CTI), Hanoi Maritime Holding Company (MHC), and Seafood Joint Stock Company No4 (TS4) all plunged the daily maximum allowed limit of 5 percent to VND47,500, VND7,600, and VND20,900 respectively.


Duc Long Gia Lai Group Joint Stock Company (DLG) shrank 4.9 percent to VND27,200.


Cadovimex Seafood Import-Export and Processing Joint Stock Company (CAD) fell for the second day, eroding 4.88 percent to VND7,800.


H.A.I Joint Stock Company (HAI) capped its three-consecutive-trading-session losing streak, rebounding 4.94 percent to VND34,000.


Sao Vang Rubber Joint Stock Company (SRC) climbed for three straight days, adding up 4.93 percent to VND29,800.


PAN Pacific Corporation (PAN) advanced 4.69 percent to trade at VND20,100 from VND19,200 the previous trading session.


The smaller bourse in the north collapsed as the Hanoi’s HNX-Index slumped 2.34 percent, or 2.57 points, to close at 107.47 points. Around 31.4 million shares were traded at VND592.51 billion.


Meanwhile, the UPCom-Index treaded water this morning, remaining at 44.72 points. A total of 189,600 shares changed hands at a value of VND2.87 billion.

Source: SGGP

Banks to start year with challenges and oppotunities

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:14 am

Commercial banks are set to cope with challenges and opportunities in 2011 as monetary policies will be more flexible, Dr. Le Xuan Nghia, vice chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, said in an interview with Dau Tu Tai Chinh Newspaper.

(Photo:Minh Tri)

With the global economy will surely recover in 2011, foreign investments will return strongly to emerging markets in Asia, including Vietnam, said Dr. Le Xuan Nghia, vice chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee.


“Statistics show foreign investments keep flowing constantly into Vietnam in the last four months. Despite the inflation rising relatively high, investors are not too worried about the possibly of an unstable macro economy as the basic rate caused by monetary policies remains low,” Nghia said.


The inflation will decrease to 7-8 percent in this year if the gasoline price is around US$85-90 per barrel, helping commercial banks to cut interest rates, he said.


“Commercial lenders had to cope with the difference between the long-term and short-term interest rates last year, which hit the banking system hard. Therefore they should strengthen their operation as soon as possible this year,” he said.


The deposit interest rate fluctuation at the end of 2010 showed the interest rate was not driven by both the monetary market and the governmental regulations, threatening the safety of banks’ operation, Nghia noticed.


“Lenders this year will also have to cope with issues from the foreign exchange rate. They should offer foreign currency loans with the interest rates, which are adequate to each type of clients,” he said.


The vice chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee also warned the competition of foreign-owned and local banks this year will become harsher as the formers will be allowed to take the dong deposits from Vietnamese clients.


“But I do not think local lenders will be so worried about that. Foreign banks remain behind local lenders as their weaker financial strength and a fewer number of branches nationwide. Moreover, the strict risk managements prevent them from taking risks in such a small market in Vietnam,” he said.


“Besides, human resource is also a tough challenge for foreign lenders. Therefore, the biggest competitor of local banks in the next couple year is still themselves.”


Local lenders will also have to change their entire accounting software to match up with new regulations in the Law of Credit Institutions, which took effective on Jan. 1st 2011, he said.


“The new Law of Credit Institutions has some more regulations including forbidding banks to deposit to each others and restraining the credit growth of banks,” Dr. Nghia said.

Source: SGGP

Interest rates expected to drop in 2011

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:14 am

Interest rates are expected to go down this year because they are presently too high and cannot rise any higher, an economist has said.

Transactions conducted at a Southern Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: SGGP)

This year has seen skyrocketing interest rates due to the soaring inflation in 2010, with savings interest rates and lending interest rates being 14 percent per year and 17-18 percent per year respectively.
 
According to economists, the rates are already too high for enterprises; therefore, it is unlikely that interest rates will go any higher.
 
Enterprises and commercial banks have hoped that the State Bank of Vietnam will regulate interest rates in compliance with the Law on Credit Institutions, which took effect early this year.
 
Banks said that this will give them the flexibility in adjusting interest rates in accordance with foreign exchange rates and inflation.
 
Economists said the interest rates will drop by the end of the first quarter of 2011, because demand for production and business funds from various enterprises will decrease after the Tet holiday.
 
In addition, banks will be able to mobilize funds from residents more easily. This is because the inbound remittance will increase, and people will have more money in cash.
 
Therefore, banks might reduce their lending interest rates to 15-16 percent by the second quarter of 2011.
 
Some commercial banks said they cannot lower the interest rates yet, because the expenses for mobilizing funds are still very high.
 
However, they said they can offer lower rates to their regular client base.
 
The central bank said early this year that it will use the prime interest rate to curb high interest rates, but not as a monetary policy management tool.  
 
The bank will focus its management on refinance, open market operations (OMO) and rediscount rates.
 
The central bank said OMO rates will be flexible and be adjusted to market rates.
 
Deputy general director of a joint stock bank said that to lower interest rates and stabilize the monetary market in 2011, drastic solutions will have to be taken to contain inflation.
 
Economists said there should be a special mechanism concerning small commercial banks.
 
They said for the long run, interest rates for the dong should be floated in the government’s direction. However, in abnormal market conditions, the central bank must regulate market interest rates.
 
The central bank also said that it has targeted credit growth at 23 percent for 2011, two percent lower than last year, and loans will be prioritized for the production sector.

Source: SGGP

Soc Trang poor patients get free eye surgery

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:13 am

Ophthalmology doctors from Ho Chi Minh City have provided free eye operations to some 200 disadvantaged patients in the Mekong delta province of Soc Trang.


From January 9 to January 10, ophthalmologists from Nguyen Trai Hospital conducted free eye surgery for 200 poor people, who suffered from cataract diseases. The operations were performed at the General Hospital of Long Phu District and the province’s Eye Center.


The Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper management and the Sponsoring Associations for Poor Patients in the city covered the cost of the operations, which was around VND160 million.


In addition, benefactors and enterprises through the Xuan Nhan Ai (Charitable Spring) program raise money for the operations. The Vietnam News Agency office in the Mekong delta, from the city of Can Tho, also gave patients gifts worth VND300,000.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam wins two golds at ASEAN

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:13 am

Vietnamese singers Thu Minh and Kasim Hoang Vu won two gold medals and a prize of VND30 million (US$2,000) each in the folk music category at the ASEAN Golden Voice Festival 2011, which ended in Ho Chi Minh City on January 8.


Sri Nazrina Hj Johari of Brunei and Hershon from Indonesia won two gold medals in the pop music category.


H’Zina Bya of Vietnam and Netta Kusumah Dewi of Indonesia as well as Thu Minh and Kasim Hoang Vu were awarded four silver medals and a prize of VND20 million (US$1,000) each in  two categories  of traditional and contemporary folk music and pop music. In the same categories singers Fig (Brunei), Tung Lam (Vietnam), Plengpraphun Kingthong (Thailand) and Kyaw Zin Min (Myanmar) were awarded  four bronze medals and a prize of VND 10 million (US$500) each.


Related article:
City hosts ASEAN Golden Voice Festival 2011

Source: SGGP

International seminar on “The art of Đờn ca tài tử”

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:13 am

On January 9 an international seminar on “The art of Đờn ca tài tử and sentimental performance” was held in HCM city by the HCMC People’s Committee, Music Institute.


 


“Đờn ca tài tử “is a fading genre of folk music which developed and spread mainly in the south of Vietnam during the last century.


 


120 delegates from Germany, France, Cyprus, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Japan attended the seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City from January 9-11.


 

Performing don ca tai tu in Sep 23 Park in HCM city

Since April 2010, under the guidance of Vice PM Nguyen Thien Nhan, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with HCMC People’s Committee and the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of other southern cities and provinces has been conducting research to trace the origins and systemize the theory of this form of music to present to UNESCO for recognition as a world heritage art form. Signature songs of “Đờn ca tài tử “have been compiled to submit to UNESCO by March 2011, for recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.


 


The seminar is aimed to raise the awareness of the world community on Vietnam’s “đờn ca tài tử”, which has long been one of the most-searched genres of music by foreign travelers, especially by those visiting the Mekong Delta. The seminar also encourages domestic and international preservation and development of the traditional values of “đờn ca tài tử”.


 


“Đờn ca tài tử” is worthy of representation of the southern region of Vietnam, alongside  “ca trù” and “quan họ” of the north, Hue royal court music of the central region and the gong music of Tay Nguyen, which has already been recognized as a cultural heritage by UNESCO.


 


Tran Van Khe, professor and master of Vietnamese traditional music claims that this unique art of music subtly combines both folk and scholarly features and also brings out the creativity of players as the genre is not firmly bound to any fixed formula.


 


Vinh Bao, a master musician stated during a regular music gathering held two weeks ago at the private house of professor Khe, that this art certainly has its rules but these rules are flexible to permit players to express their emotions in different tones, melodies and rhythms. He also believed that even though “đờn ca tài tử” was only 200 years old it should not be an obstruction in its effort to seek recognition as a heritage form.


 

Nguyen Vinh Bao, a master musician , who can play different don ca tai tu instruments

According to Prof Khe, UNESCO has expressed its interest in the reputation and status of “đờn ca tài tử” since 1960.   In 1963, UNESCO officially invited him and a local female singer Bach Hue to record a “đờn ca tài tử” clip entitled “Vietnam Traditions of the South” comprising of 11 tracks, which were later produced as part of a UNESCO Collection. In 1972 another “đờn ca tài tử” clip played by Professor Tran Van Khe and musician Vinh Bao playing different musical instruments was produced and publicized. In 1994, Ocora Radio France coordinated with the two masters and Hai Phuong, a female artist playing 16-chord zither, to produce two albums which became best-sellers in France during that year.


 


“Don ca tai tu” has won international acclaim and admiration, especially amongst connoisseurs of traditional music forms. South Korean expert Sheen Dae-Cheol is one such admirer who praises the charm and special characteristics of the genre. He is one of the dozens of experts who will participate in an international conference on “don ca tai tu”. Due to the influx of western and foreign music, Vietnamese traditional music genre of “don ca tai tu” has survived and not lost its unique musical flavor or aesthetics.


 


Hence it can aptly be concluded that “don ca tai tu” is a very valuable traditional music form which needs to be preserved and enjoyed for posterity. “Don ca tai tu” certainly merits its place on the world stage, notwithstanding being designated as a masterpiece of Oral and Intangible cultural and musical Heritage for all humanity.


 


 



 


Source: SGGP

Watercolor painting exhibition to be held to support poor people

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:12 am

An exhibition displaying nearly 50 pictures by Truong Han Minh, who is master traditional Chinese watercolor paintings in Vietnam, will be held at the Equatorial Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City from January 14 to 18.

Painter Truong Han Minh and his giant watercolor painting.

The show entitled ‘Painter Truong Han Minh – 60 years of Passion in watercolor painting’ aims to celebrate the artist’s career and launch the website www.truonghanminh.com.


The sale of some of his paintings will be donated to support the poor people of Ho Chi Minh City.

An auction of some of his works last year raised over VND2 billion (US$100,000) and this money helped many disabled children in Vietnam.


Truong Han Minh was born in 1951 in Cho Lon, HCM city. He original came from Guan Dong, in China. He has had a passion for painting since early childhood. Truong Han Minh is also Chairperson of the Chinese Fine Arts Association and a member of Vietnamese Fine Arts Association. He has taught at many Art schools in the city.


His paintings have been displayed at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum; Ho Chi Minh City Museum; Museum of the Nationalities in Vietnam; and in many other countries such as the U.S., France, Australia, Canada, Japan, China and Taiwan.


 

Source: SGGP

Nguyen Hue Flower Street readies for Tet

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:12 am

Nguyen Hue Flower Street readies for the annual Tet festival in Ho Chi Minh City from January 31 – February 6 (December 28 – January 4 on the lunar calendar).

The annual flower show will take place on Nguyen Hue Boulevard. (Photo:KK)

The much awaited annual flower show has been divided into various segments this year with exotic names like Vietnamese Spirit, southern Tet holiday, New advance, Peaceful Spring, Time of the season and Humane garden.


The main boulevards like Nguyen Hue, Le Loi, Dong Khoi, and Le Duan will be specially decorated with thousands of colorful lights from January 26 to February 14. Offices and shops located on these streets will decorate the front of their buildings.

A series of music performances, dragon and kylin dances will be organized at hotels like Caravelle, Rex, Majestic, Grand, Continental, Kim Do, Oscar, Bong Sen and Palace from January 31 to February 6.

Firework displays will be held at seven locations around the city and telecast live on Ho Chi Minh City Television on New Year’s Eve.

The areas near to CARIC Company, a French Shipyard & Ship repairing Company in District 2, the construction area of the political and administrative center of District 7, Go Vap District’s Cultural Park, Nga Ba Giong Memorial area of Heroic Martyrs in Hoc Mon District, Ben Duoc Temple of Heroic Martyrs in Cu Chi District, Ethnic Culture historical park in District 9 and Dam Sen Cultural Park in District 11 and Can Gio District have been marked as locations for spectacular fireworks display.

A street book festival titled “Dream” featuring readings and discussions will also be held on Mac Thi Buoi Street in District 1 from January 31 to February 6.

Another festival, the Banh Tet (cylindrical glutinous rice cake) festival will take place on January 26 – 31 (December 23 – 28 on the lunar calendar).

The organizers include Saigon tourist Travel Service Company, Dam Sen Cultural Park and the HCM City Department of Labor. War Invalids and Social Affairs department will hand over 10,000 cakes to disadvantaged children from shelters and open houses in the city on January 31.

Source: SGGP

Ha Tinh recognizes more historical, cultural sites

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:12 am

The Ha Tinh Province People’s Committee has recognized another 17 historical and cultural relic sites.

Cho Cui Temple in the central province of Ha Tinh

The 17 new sites include Lieu Hanh Temple, Cho Cui Temple, Yen Ninh village communal house, and other temples and houses of worships in the central province.


Ha Tinh now has a total of 240 provincial and 71 national relic sites.


It is anticipated that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will recognize the Nguyen Du relic site as especially significant vestige this year. Nguyen Du was a a great poet of Vietnam.

Source: SGGP