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Investors anxious about stock market manipulation

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:36 am

Many shares on the stock market are being manipulating but the market watchdog fails to stop the issue, brokers said.

(Photo:Minh Tri)

The construction firm Song Da 9.06 (S96)’s share price surged to VND40,000 this month from the low level of VND15,000 last August, triggering questions about whether the price are being manipulated.

“Some listed firms’ board of directors and big shareholders manipulated their share prices by announcing their firm’s profitable business plans after buying back their shares strongly. And then they took big bucks by selling shares, which were boosted by the information,” said brokers.

Those key shareholders will use the profit from selling shares to buy back more shares in an attempt to ensure their main stakes in the firms, brokers said.

“Therefore, some listed firms focused on issuing additional shares, which will help them to raise their capital strongly,” said a broker in Ho Chi Minh City, who asked to be unnamed.

Last year, the construction company Sudico (SJS) clang on the price of VND60,000 in May before jumping up to VND210,000 five months later.

During the time SJS increasing, there was a rumor on paying dividends by additional shares on the stock market, which then came true as SJS’s share price surged to VND218,000.

PetroVietnam – Nghe An Construction Joint Stock Company (PVA) is among biggest gainers on the stock market this year.

The construction firm’s shareholders made big profits as the share price surged to VND120,000 from VND30,000 in only three months starting from February. Brokers said the share price was manipulated by many investors, who even posted their achievements on some websites.

Investors were anxious on information that Nguyen Thi Kim Phuong, a big shareholder of Cement Materials and Transportation Joint Stock Company (VTV), dumped her entire holding of 557,800 shares.

The State Securities Commission then fined Phuong and two other men VND370 million (US$18,500) for manipulating the share price. However, analysts said the fine was nothing compared with the profit they took from the affair.

Many investors suspected that brokerages, which those people opened trading accounts at, was also involved in the scam.

Similarly the transportation firm Ha Tien (HTV) rose to VND46,000 in September from VND16,000 in June before slumping nearly 75 percent to VND15,400 on December 20.

Some brokers said the slump came after market manipulators failed to boost the share price, while others said manipulators sold the share strongly to take profits from previous surges.

Le Van Dung, chairman and general director of the drug marker Vien Dong (DVD) listed on the Ho Chi Minh stock market was arrested for manipulating share prices last month.

The HCMC-based pharmacy maker earlier was fined VND50 million (US$2,500) for not buying shareholdings in Ha Tay Pharmaceutical JSC (DHT) as it registered to the commission.

Source: SGGP

Thai officials worried about crown prince: US cable

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

LONDON, Dec 16, 2010 (AFP) – Top palace officials in Thailand expressed concerns about the prospect of the crown prince becoming king, a leaked US diplomatic cable showed.

Three influential Thai figures, including two senior advisers to revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, “had quite negative comments about Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn,” said the January 2010 memo from the US embassy in Bangkok.

Two of them, while asserting that the crown prince would become king, “implied the country would be better off if other arrangements could be made,” according to the cable, published by British daily The Guardian, which obtained the confidential document from the WikiLeaks whistleblower website.

It cited concerns about his private life and suspected links to fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who remains hugely popular with by many rural poor but is seen by the establishment as corrupt and a threat to the monarchy.

King Bhumibol, the world’s longest reigning monarch, widely revered as a demi-god by many Thais, has been hospitalised since September 2009.

The 83-year-old has no official political role but is seen as a unifying figure in a country that has been frequently riven by political violence, particularly since the 2006 military coup which ousted Thaksin from office.

Any discussion of the royal family is an extremely sensitive topic in Thailand, where the palace has been silent over the organisation of the king’s succession.

General Prem Tinsulanonda, a former premier who is head of the privy council of advisers to the king, was “clearly no fan” of the crown prince, Bhumibol’s only son, the US cable said.

“When Ambassador (Eric John) asked where the Crown Prince was currently, in Thailand or Europe, Prem replied dismissively: ‘You know his social life, how he is’,” it added.

The memo said this was “a presumed reference to Vajiralongkorn’s preference to spend time based out of Munich with his main mistress, rather than in Thailand with his wife and son.”

The memo also quoted Siddhi Savetsila, a retired military office and privy council member, who said that succession “would be a difficult transition time for Thailand.”

He “expressed preference” for Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who is widely respected by Thais for her charitable work, it said.

Another influential figure, former premier Anand Panyarachun, “suggested only the King would be in a position to change succession, and acknowledged a low likelihood of that happening,” the cable added.

Source: SGGP

Cold front about to move in northern Vietnam

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

A cold front from the north has moved towards northern Vietnam and is forecast to cover the area this night, according to the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center.

Affected by the cold front, northern provinces will have showers and sparse thunderstorms together with impending tornadoes while the central region will see medium to heavy rains tomorrow morning.

In southern region, the weather has turned cloudy and rainy due to an inter-tropical convergence zone which was heading towards the north yesterday.

Meanwhile, a low pressure system has intensified on the East Sea. It was on the northern part of Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, specifically at 10-12 degrees north latitude, 110-112 east longitude on this morning.

Affected by the system and southwesterly winds, the middle and southern parts of the East Sea, the waters off Binh Dinh to Ca Mau and Ca Mau to Kien Giang provinces and Thailand Gulf will experience gusts and thunderstorms.

Quang Binh Province Red Cross officials give relief goods to a resident in the central region (Photo: SGGP)

In related news, as of yesterday afternoon Ho Chi Minh City Fatherland Front Committee received about VND3.5 billion (US$179,000) and over 12,000 kilograms of rice, instant noodle, bottled water and clothes from organizations and individuals in the city for flood-hit provinces of Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, Thua Thien-Hue and Nghe An.

The same day, chairman of Hanoi Fatherland Front Committee Dao Van Binh led a mission visited and gave Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces VND3.5 billion, which partly should have been spent on firework performance to welcome the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi on October 10.

Over the last few days, people nationalwide have assisted flood-battled residents with VND3.75 billion.

On three days beginning Wednesday, a relief delegation from the Construction Corporation No.1 would visited and offered 2,000 presents, worth VND500,000 each, to residents in Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Nghe An provinces.

Quang Binh alone so far has received nearly VND20 billion (US$1 million) in relief. The province has suffered a total damage estimated at VND1,800 billion in the fatal floods since early October.

Source: SGGP

News about GM foodstuff incorrect: scientist

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Public concerns have been raised to the news that genetically modified foods are harmful, Ph.D. Nguyen Quoc Binh, a Vietnamese-Canadian scientist, deputy director of the HCM City Bio-technology Center, said it is not correct.

GM foodstuffs are not as harmful as the articles say

The website, The voice of Russia, April 16, 2010 had an article “Russia says genetically modified foods are harmful” and Jeffrey Smith re-publicize it on Huffington Post with different title on April 20 and next day an electronic website in Vietnam translated the article on The voice of Russia and posted an article with impressive title “Russia announced genetically modified foods are harmful”. After reading the articles, checking information sources, Binh disagreed with the article on Vietnamese website.

The original article on The voice of Russia says; ”Russia has started the annual Days of Defense against Environmental Hazards from the 15th of April to the 5th of June with the announcement of sensational results of an independent work of research. Scientists have proved that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful for mammals. The researchers discovered that animals that eat GM foodstuffs lose their ability to reproduce. Concerning the experiment carried out jointly by the National Association for Gene Security and the Institute of Ecological and Evolutional Problems, Dr. Alexei Surov has this to say. “We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always,” says Alexei Surov.

“We did not add anything for one group but the other was fed with soya that contained no GM components, while the third group with some content of Genetically Modified Organisms and the fourth one with increased amount of GMO. We monitored their behavior and how they gain weight and when they give birth to their cubs. Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly. When we got some of their cubs we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs, which were fed with GM foodstuffs. It was proved that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs,” Dr. Alexei Surov said.

However, Ph.D Binh said he did not find any newspaper in Dr. Alexei Surov’s Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution to prove that Dr. Alexei Surov has written such information and no article has same content with what on The voice of Russia. Therefore, the news lack of scientific evidence and it is not exact.

In addition, the title Russia says genetically modified foods are harmful meanwhile other newspapers only say a Russian says. It is clear that there is a big gap between Russia and a Russian says. It is groundless rumor that can caused loss to farmers as a few years ago, after a newspaper released the news that eating grapefruit can cause cancer, farmers who grow the fruit were in despair when they couldn’t sell the product.

Also on The voice of Russia; “The results of Russian scientists coincide with those of their colleagues from France and Austria. For one, when scientist proved that GM maize was harmful for mammals, France banned immediately its production and sale.” This news is not correct as French government has not banned production and sale of GM products but vice versa. For instance, European community decided to allow imported genetically modified maize is sold in its countries.

It should carefully consider publicizing news to avoid false information that can raise public concerns and badly affect to farmers.

Source: SGGP

Parents hesitate about optional fees

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

Though Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Training and Education asked schools to clearly explain the different between compulsory and optional fees to parent in the beginning of this academic year, parents still hesitate about non-mandatory optional fees.


Students participate in a class at Dong Da primary school in Hanoi.

The department has required both district and city education authorities to publicize all the different types of fees.

In the first parents’ meeting at L.T.R preschool, some parents said they have to pay VND700,000 – 800,000 (US$35 – 40) in the beginning of this academic year, not including other fees such as uniform and breakfast.

After the school reported the amount for the entire academic school, a representative of parents association asked each parent need to pay more VND200,000 with reason – the school is not enough toys, so parents need to buy more toys.

At the L.D.C primary school, before the beginning of the academic year parents had to pay VND277,500 for English course, health insurance and material facilities. In addition, parents had to pay more VND500,000 for tables and parents’ fund.

A parent said she had to pay VND900,000 in the beginning of the academic year. She wonders how much she will have to pay more in the middle of the academic year.

Under the requirement of the department, Parents had the choice about payment of non-mandatory optional fees, such as health insurance, and teachers were not allowed to collect this money.

Schools must also publicise the negotiated fees for meals, study aides, and hygiene and security for students.

Private schools were allowed to set their own school fees, but pre-schools and secondary schools were required to publicise the amount for the entire academic year.


Source: SGGP

About VND10 billion raised for the poor

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:50 am

About VND10 billion raised for the poor

QĐND – Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 20:45 (GMT+7)

About VND10 billion was raised for the poor by outstanding enterprises who received the Thang Long Cup on October 12 in Hanoi.

Fifty enterprises were awarded Thang Long Cup, plus 27 individuals received certificates as outstanding entrepreneur in 2010 at a in the ceremony for Vietnam Business Day (October 13) held by the Hanoi People’s Committee and Hanoi Fatherland Front Committee.

Also at the ceremony, 27 businesses were honoured for their contribution to the campaign “for the poor”.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

HCMC voters voice concerns about pressing issues

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

HCMC voters voice concerns about pressing issues

QĐND – Sunday, July 04, 2010, 20:56 (GMT+7)

Costly medications at hospitals, uncontrolled online games, and problems related to ODA projects are some of the subjects among hundreds of queries sent by Ho Chi Minh City voters and People’s Council deputies to relevant local agencies, ahead of the 18th meeting of the city People’s Council due to commence July 5.

Many voters in some districts, including District 12 and Tan Binh, complained that medicine prices at many hospitals are many times higher than market prices, causing patients to endure unreasonably high medical costs.

They asked the city Health Department to take measures to prevent this practice, which they said has been left uncontrolled.

Another complaint was that many private consulting rooms directly sold medicines to patients after examination or treatment and that many hospital doctors colluded with pharmaceutical firms in giving prescriptions in order to to get illegitimate commissions.

Nobody involved in these corrupt practices have been punished, the voters said.

Regarding school healthcare services, Deputy Nguyen Van Bach commented: “In the past school year, many schools, from pre-schools to secondary schools, did not have enough medical staffs to provide students with healthcare.”

Out of more than 1,500 schools in the city, only 524, or 36 percent, have medical personnel, he said. “Even in Can Gio District, only two of the 29 schools there have medical workers of primary professional level.”

He asked the Heath Department to improve healthcare quality at schools.

Concerning management over online gaming at internet shops, many voters said many businesses had violated regulations in this field, such as operating without proper business registration, operating beyond regulated hours, or failing to prevent internet users from accessing unhealthy websites.

They blamed the situation on loose control by relevant official agencies.

Huynh Cong Hung said: “Many online games are those that induce gambling, provoke violent actions, or are detrimental to good habits and customs. Such games have been creating a bad influence on children and young people.”

“What is the role and responsibility of the city Department of Information and Communications in this field?” he asked.

Concerning the fact that several projects funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) have increased their initial capital, deputy Truong Trong Nghia asked: “What are the reasons for increasing the cost of those projects and what is the responsibility of investors and contractors for such an increase?”

He cited the city’s Environmental Hygiene Project, which raised its cost from US$200 million to $354 million, and the project for subway no. 1, which has yet to start, but has nonetheless increased its investment from $1.1 billion to $2.3 billion.

He said many voters voiced their concerns about the quality of Nguyen Huu Canh Street, which has cost up to hundreds of VND billion for repairs but is still in bad condition.

Many other deputies were concerned about the tardy progress of the project aiming to improve the environmental conditions in the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal. They asked the city Transport Department to explain the tardiness and to make known to the public when the project will finish.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND

US official optimistic about Vietnam-US relations

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm

US official optimistic about Vietnam-US relations

QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

“I am really proud of the fact that the Vietnam-US relationship is very good and we have every reason to expect that it will continue to get better in the future,” says US National Security Advisor General James Jones.

On July 11, 1995, the then US President Bill Clinton, announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Over the past 15 years, Vietnam-US relations have constantly developed, resulting in beneficial outcomes in various fields and with mutual respect and goodwill from both sides.

Marking the 15th anniversary of Vietnam–US diplomatic relations, this year Jones granted an interview to a VOV reporter on the future prospects for bilateral ties.

Reporter: Could you please review the Vietnam-US relationship over the past 15 years?

General Jones: First of all I am really very proud of the fact that the relationship is very good one and we have every reason to expect that it will continue to improve it better.

Obviously, I think it started with the help and compassion that the Vietnamese government showed in our efforts to recover those missing in action (MIA) and we appreciate that very much. This grew into a more normal relationship which is highlighted by our trade relations. Starting at only a few hundred million US dollars, it is now a US$16-billion trade relationship, which is remarkable and there is no reason why that shouldn’t continue and even grow.

We have Vietnam as chair of ASEAN and we have, I think, a very interesting visit with a US navy ship commanded by a young man who came from Vietnam and rose to the commandership in the US Navy, which I think is a wonderful human interest story. And over here, we have quite a few people who came from Vietnam originally and who now travel freely back and forward to see their families and I have a very close group of friends who own a barbershop in my town so I know about their families and they all have families in Vietnam and when they come back they talk about the wonderful progress that Vietnamese society have made in the fields of medicine and education.

So this is a very strong bond and I am personally very proud of that.

Reporter: How do you expect relations between the US and Vietnam to develop in the future? And which spheres will be prioritised to promote bilateral relations?

General Jones: I think that the ties will continue to grow. There are no barriers to a much closer and growing relationship. We think that Vietnam has come along so quickly that it can now exert some leadership in the region. Vietnam can now play a leadership role by showing examples of a better way for countries to progress and provide for a welfare system.

I think that we have a balance, though it depends on how the world changes. In a few years it could be a security relationship in other years it could be trade but I think the growing friendship, the trust and the confidence are there and very strong and I think they will  continue to develop.

Reporter: What is Vietnam’s role in the US policy towards ASEAN and Asia? And what do you expect Vietnam to do for ASEAN?

General Jones: I think because of the Vietnam’s success, there will be a general expectation from other countries that you should lead and lead by example. . Vietnam is on the threshold of becoming a very responsible nation which should be capable of leading on big issues in the region and on global matters.

Reporter: Vietnam and the US currently have some differences on freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, do you think the two countries will settle these issues? And how they will be settled?

General Jones: Some of these issues take a long time. We certainly offer ourselves to the world for criticism where we sometimes fall short. We recognize that we have a free society with the ability to self-criticize. Are we living up to our values? Do we do what we say we’re going to do, if we don’t we’ll correct it.

As I speak, I am very optimistic, like friends who can agree to discuss all kinds of things without being overly sensitive. And I think that as long as our leaders show goodwill and the willingness to work together, these issues will be resolved over time and we will find that a firm foundation.

Reporter: After 15 years of normalization, despite certain differences on some issues, the relationship between Vietnam and US has developed to its highest level on various issues, including security, national defense and nuclear cooperation. What is your opinion of such cooperation?

General Jones: I think on that a broad range of issues that define bilateral relations where Vietnam is concerned it is very good and has potential for the future. I think that the relationship will continue to develop, that we will engage in many more issues, for example, education, cultural exchanges, scientific exchanges, energy and climate change are huge issues for every country.

We have to worry about things like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism which can appear in any country. So in this very small, much more globalized world  where communications are so quick, it is very important that we remain engaged in all of these issues and let the relationship grow as far as it can.

Reporter: As US National Security advisor, how does the US-Vietnam relationship contribute to the Asia Pacific region’s security?

General Jones: It is one of bright lights in our security relationship I have highlighted the tremendous effort that we have made in trade. Good trade relationship means greater stability for people in Vietnam and elsewhere and that translates to more security.

But I think that with regard to the Asia Pacific region, the US considers itself an Asia Pacific country as well. The peaceful development of the relationships between every country on the Pacific rim is part of our national strategy to make the world a safer and more peaceful place through better understanding, exchanging views and greater cooperation across a whole variety of issues, not just military to military.

Security in the 21st century is far more about how we handle our climate, energy and trade, scientific cooperation, and education. These are things we should be worried about in common. If we able to do that we all prosper and benefit. That is why I think the future for the US and Vietnam is very bright.

Reporter: Does President Obama have a plan to visit Vietnam in the near future? What kind of issues will he raise at the ASEAN-US Summit this year?

General Jones: Last year, President Obama spent more time out of the country than any other president in his first year of office. But I am quite sure that at some point, the president will visit this very important region.

I am also happy to hear that the US Secretary of State  Hillary Clinton also has plans to visit Vietnam, so we will have a very senior person representing our government, and the issues that I think she will raise will be will pretty much what we have talked about already.

Reporter: Thank you.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

We need more good songs about Hanoi

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm

There hasn’t been a good song written about Hanoi in years, some might say even decades.

Few places have as many songs written about them as Hanoi

There haven’t been any good songs about the capital that can win hearts of music lovers throughout the country for tens of years, many musicians conceded.

Hanoi has always been an indispensable subject for many generations of poets, writers and musicians nationwide.

Huynh Van Nghe, Nguyen Dinh Thi, Trinh Cong Son, Phu Quang, Pham Duy, Hoang Duong, Pham Tuyen, Hoang Hiep, Pho Duc Phuong, Hong Dang, Nguyen Cuong, and Duong Thu all penned famous poetry, lyrics and prose about Hanoi.

Few places have as many songs written about them as Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital for a thousands years, and the cultural centre of Vietnam, where each successive dynasty has left behind its footprints.

But modern singers have been unable to capture the charm and flair of our undying capital in their new pop tunes.

Although the capital is now more modern and living standards have improved, the city lacks good songs written about it. The capital’s cultural values are more important than every, but are less treasured than in the past, thanks to rapid development and rampant commercialization.

Art and creativity quietly depend on artists who must perceive the lives and changes of society to create their works.

So our artists and people have the responsibility to create a healthy and clear environment to arouse the emotional music that will make the capital shine from its birthday on into the future.

Hanoi’s 1,000th anniversary will be celebrates this October. Will we not have any songs?

Source: SGGP

Russia serious about change, Medvedev tells West

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

President Dmitry Medvedev promised the West on Friday that a “changing” Russia was serious about economic reform, saying it needed a boom in foreign investment to modernise its economy.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the annual International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg on June 18, 2010.

“We are truly modernising Russia,” Medvedev, Russia’s third post-Soviet president, told business leaders in a keynote speech at the annual economic forum in its second city of Saint Petersburg.

“The changes take time but it will happen,” he declared in the former imperial capital founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 to serve as Russia’s window to the West and to narrow its gap with the West.

“Russia understands the tasks ahead and is changing for itself and for the rest of the world,” said Medvedev.

Medvedev — who took over the Kremlin from his strongman predecessor Vladimir Putin in 2008 — has made modernisation a mantra of his presidency but has been criticised by economists for failing to follow rhetoric with actions.

In a surprise announcement warmly welcomed by the audience, Medvedev said that from 2011 Russia would abolish capital gains tax for long-term direct investment.

“Russia must become a country which attracts people from around the world to realise their dreams,” he said.

He also promised more relaxed visa policies for qualified foreign businessmen working in Russia and a strengthening of the legal basis for business in a country still blighted by corruption.

“Russia needs a genuine investment boom,” said Medvedev.

Medvedev announced he had signed a decree that would cut fivefold the number of firms deemed “strategic” and in which the state is obliged to own a stake, opening the way for broader participation of foreign companies in the country’s top companies.

Under Putin, Russia drew up a list of sectors, first and foremost energy, in which foreign participation is limited.

German Gref, ex-economy minister and now head of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, said this was a crucial development as it showed the “state will gradually withdraw from direct participation in the economy”.

The Saint Petersburg Forum, sometimes dubbed “the Russian Davos” after the annual get-together in Switzerland, is Russia’s most important platform for showing off its economy to the world.

Medvedev asserted that Russia was emerging from the economic crisis with decent economic growth of around four percent in the first five months of 2010.

He also emphasized that the oil- and gas-rich country was being spared the budget crises currently besetting some European Union states, even if Russia had to tighten its belt.

“We have no problem with our sovereign debt. It is minimal,” said Medvedev.

But he added: “We do not have so much money in the budget for structural changes. What we have we can and must use in a different way — more effectively and result-orientated.”

The global financial crisis that broke in late 2008 prompted worries that Russia again risked an economic meltdown of the kind it endured in 1998 when it defaulted on sovereign debt.

The economy contracted 7.9 percent in 2009 but has now started moving into recovery, although economists warn it will take years for Russia to recover pre-crisis growth rates.

Source: SGGP