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Deadline for banks to raise capital pushed back a year

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has accepted a proposal from the State Bank of Vietnam to extend the deadline for banks to raise their chartered capital to VND3 trillion (US$141.7 million) by one year to December 31, 2011, said the bank on December 14.

Transaction conducted at an Asia Commercial Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City.

The proposal was sent to the Government when it was found that commercial banks faced a looming December 31 deadline to meet stricter minimum capital requirements.

Earlier, the central bank had been adamant that if they failed to meet the deadline, banks would face closure, or be forced into mergers with other institutions. The bank said that the deadline was ‘hard-and-fast’ as the banks had had four years to prepare for the capital increase.

The Government issued Decree 141/206/NĐ dated on November 22, 2006, requiring banks to raise their chartered capital to at least VND3 trillion by December 31, 2010.
The Decree was aimed at eliminating any weak banks and strengthening the financial capacity and security of the banking system. 
The banking system has quickly developed during the past years of renovation. However, most of banks are small-sized and may be vulnerable to the ups and downs of the market.
Additionally, objective reasons like the global financial crisis and economic downturn have prevented foreign partners from pouring money in the banking system and the Vietnamese banks themselves from raising capital through issuing shares.
Besides, the Government has required the State-owned enterprises to focus on their main business lines, so they have withdrawn money from banks, causing difficulties for the banks.

By the end of October, all 22 commercial banks not yet in compliance had received the Central Bank’s approval to increase registered capital from an average of nearly VND1.6 trillion ($75.57 million) to an average of VND3.5 trillion ($165.32 million).
Eleven of these banks had received the State Securities Commission approval to raise additional funds by offering shares. However, because of the gloomy state of the market during the last several months, these plans were derailed.

The State Bank previously extended deadlines for commercial banks to meet higher capital requirements. Commercial banks were required by law to registered capital of at least VND1 trillion (US$47.23 million) by the end of 2008, but only 28 banks had met the requirement by the deadline. Another 10 managed to meet it only as late as the end of 2009, with the central bank granting permission for delaying the compliance.

Source: SGGP

VN-Index bounces back to 430

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

Time for banks to pay back to tax payers, UK expert tells seminar

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 5:41 am

Will he be back? Arnie mulls California termination

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 4:12 am

British Airways, Iberia fly back to profit

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

LONDON (AFP) – British Airways and Iberia of Spain flew back into profits on Friday ahead of their merger as the pair cut costs and benefited from a fragile recovery in air travel and the global economy.

BA posted net profits of 107 millions pounds (122 millions euros, 170 million dollars) for the six months to September, its first interim profit for two years, as revenues rose and non-fuel costs fell.

In Madrid, Iberia posted a 74-million-euro net profit for its third quarter, or three months to September, after a year-earlier loss of 16.4 million euros.

The healthy results are the latest evidence of a strengthening recovery in the global airline industry which was savaged by the worldwide economic slump that hammered demand for air travel.

BA’s first-half earnings after tax compared with a net loss of 217 million pounds in the six months to September 2009, the airline said in a statement.

The profits reflected steep cost-cutting and came despite recent travel chaos caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in April and cabin crew strikes.

Next month, BA and Iberia shareholders will vote on their landmark merger deal that is due to be completed in January 2011, creating the second largest airline group in Europe after Germany’s Lufthansa.

“The changes we have made to our cost base are now having a big impact on the business,” BA chief executive Willie Walsh said.

“I’m pleased with the results today — they demonstrate that the action we have taken has been the right decision for the business. The figures speak for themselves.”

He added: “The challenge we faced was one of structural cost difference between us and our competitors.

“We are also benefiting from an improved economy, which we hope will pick up in 2011. We don’t see any evidence to support a double-dip (return to recession).”

BA revenues rose 8.4 percent to 4.45 billion pounds in the reporting period, while operating costs declined 1.5 percent.

Pre-tax profit hit 158 million pounds, compared with a year-earlier loss of 292 million pounds and way above analyst forecasts for profit of 73 million pounds.

“Our concerted efforts to introduce permanent structural change across the airline has led to a reduction in non-fuel costs and a return to profitability,” Walsh said.

Despite healthy first-half profits, BA saw its share price slide in early morning trade on Friday as the group warned that the economic outlook was uncertain — and cited a tax hike in Britain next week.

BA shares sank 2.78 percent to 272.90 pence on the London stock market, which was 0.11 percent lower in late morning trade.

On Monday, the British government will ramp up Air Passenger Duty (APD), which is levied on all flights from British airports. The tax will rise by 55 percent for the most far-flung destinations.

“While positive, the economic environment continues to be subject to uncertainty, to which the increase in APD is unhelpful. We continue to focus on managing our costs,” the British carrier said.

The BA-Iberia tie-up will create Europe’s second-biggest airline by market value after Germany’s Lufthansa, combining Iberia’s strong position in Latin America with BA’s presence in Africa, Asia and North America.

Following the merger, Walsh will become chief executive of a new umbrella company which will control the two airlines, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), while Iberia chairman Antonio Vazquez will be chairman.

Earlier this month, BA launched a transatlantic alliance with Iberia and American Airlines, pledging cheaper fares and more travel choice in a new agreement for greater coordination over routes.

The tie-up allows them to cooperate commercially on flights between the European Union, Switzerland, and Norway and the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Source: SGGP

Iraqi court orders parliament back to work

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 9:34 am

Iraq’s highest court on Sunday ordered parliament back to work after a virtual seven-month recess, intensifying pressure to break the political stalemate that has held up formation of a new government.

The 325 lawmakers met only once since they were elected on March 7 for a session that lasted 20 minutes and consisted of a reading from Islam’s holy book, the Quran, the playing of the national anthem and swearing in new members.

Under the constitution, parliament was required to meet within 15 days of final court approval of election results, which came on June 1. Lawmakers met on June 14 and should have chosen a parliament speaker during their first session and then the president within 30 days. But these appointments had to be put off because they are part of the negotiations between major political blocs over the rest of the new leadership — including a prime minister and top Cabinet officials.

Iraq’s new parliament convenes Monday June 14 2010 but postponed a decision on a new president as the country remained in political limbo three months after inconclusive national elections.

After the June meeting, lawmakers agreed to leave the parliament session open but unattended — a technicality to allow more time to choose a new leadership and to put off choosing a new speaker or president.

But the Supreme Court deemed that decision “illegal” in its ruling on Sunday.

“The federal Supreme Court decided to cancel this decision, binding the parliament speaker to call on lawmakers to convene parliament and resume work,” the ruling said. The delay “violated the constitution,” it added.

Parliament’s absence has meant inaction on business-friendly reforms, such as streamlining bureaucracy and clarifying rules for foreign investment, among other major decisions.

The absent parliamentarians are earning $22,500 a month in salary and housing allowance — far more than the average $800 monthly salary of an Iraqi professional. And that doesn’t include a $90,000 stipend they were given after they were sworn in to cover expenses for the next four years.

The court’s ruling effectively turns up the pressure to break the 7-month-old impasse on forming a government.

“This decision will put pressure on political blocs to speed up their negotiations, and to nominate a prime minister candidate,” said Kurdish lawmaker Alaa Talabani, a relative of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Sunday’s court order settles a lawsuit brought by independent watchdog groups against parliament’s acting speaker, Fouad Massoum. In a brief interview Sunday, Massoum said he has not yet seen the order but has no choice but to abide by the court’s demands.

He told The Associated Press he expects to set a date for a meeting by the end of the week, though it was not clear when the meeting would take place. Lawmakers, however, said they would not be able to accomplish much if they reconvened before political parties agree on a ruling coalition and choose a prime minister.

Under pressure from foreign allies and mounting exasperation from the Iraqi public, leaders since have twice tried — and failed — to bring parliament back.

The March elections failed to give any party a ruling majority. Since then, dueling political leaders have resisted returning as they try to corral alliances that will allow them to choose a prime minister and form a coalition government.

Sunni lawmaker Osama Nujaifi predicted parliament would ignore the order and resist convening for at least a week if “the political blocs haven’t agreed yet” on a new government.

Kurdish lawmaker Azad Chalak said that convening before deals are made on leadership posts “probably would lead to parliament dismantling” without having anybody in charge. He predicted that could, in turn, trigger courts to order a new election.

With 51 seats, the Kurdish bloc is considered a kingmaker whose support is critical to forming any ruling coalition.

Iraq is still struggling with its political identity after its majority Shiite population was ruled for decades by Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led regime. Since Saddam’s fall, Iraq has been governed mostly by Shiites and Kurds, raising fears that Sunnis who feel they have been sidelined will re-ignite sectarian strife across the country.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is battling to keep his job after the Sunni-backed Iraqiya list led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi narrowly won the most seats in the March vote.

The impasse could drag on for months more.

Source: SGGP

School essay contest comes back

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Students Le Phuc Duy An and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nga of secondary schools including Dang Tran Con in Tan Phu District and Ly Chinh Thang in Hoc Mon District won the first prizes in the 8-9th grade and 6-7th grade categories of the annual “Prudential – Good Essay, Good Writing” contest 2010.

Secondary school students take part in the “Prudential-Good Essay, Good Writing” contest 2010 in HCM City on October 17.

In the 8th and 9th grade category, student Nguyen Thi Hong Duyen of the junior high school Dang Tran Con won the second prize.

Two third places went to Tran Nguyen Ngoc Ngan and Nguyen Ngoc Thanh Truc of secondary schools Nguyen Van To in District 10 and Hoa Lu in District 9.

Three consolation prizes were given to Nguyen Ngoc Song Anh, Le Luu Ky Ha and Mai Truc Nghi of junior high schools Le Loi in District 3, Le Quy Don in District 11 and Le Van Tam in Binh Thanh District.

In the 6th and 7th grade category, Phan Thi Thu Ngan from the secondary school Le Van Tam in Binh Thanh District won the second position.

Tran Nhat Ha and Nguyen Thi My Huyen of junior high schools Nguyen Du in District 1 and Tan Trung in Cu Chi District got the third places.

Organizers awarded three consolation prizes to Nguyen Thu Thao, Thai Ngoc Gia Phuc and Nguyen Thi Thanh Chi from secondary schools Le Van Viet in Thu Duc District, Nguyen Du in Go Vap District and Phuoc Vinh An in Cu Chi District.

Most of winners of the contest are from suburban districts.

The award ceremony for the essay contest will be held at the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Cultural House on October 31.

Source: SGGP

French blues singer to come back Hanoi and HCMC

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm

French blues singer Roland Tchakounté and his band will come back Vietnam for performances at the HCM City’s Opera House on October 14 and the French Cultural Center in Hanoi on October 15-16.

French blues singer Roland Tchakounté

Roland Tchakounté will present to Vietnamese music lovers his compositions such as Soukous Blues (Nyangsah), “Hum hum (Tendi),” “Chunzela,” “Nju ne bala,” “Vae victis” and more.

Roland Tchakounté’s music is full of wild melodies, sadness and happiness, sometimes loneliness.

Born in Cameroon, far from the cotton fields that shaped his elders’ style, Roland Tchakounté started his musical career by recording 2 LPs in Douala’s studios before leaving for France.

Roland Tchakounté released his debut album titled “Bred Bouh Shuga Blues” in 1999, and “Abango” in 2005, “Waka” in 2008 and latest album “Blues Menessen” in May of this year.

Along with his partners Mick Ravassat (guitar) and Mathias Bernheim (percussion), he has many performances in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Canada, USA, Guinea, the Republic of Mali, Indonesia, Vietnam, Scotland, Croatia, etc.

He came to Hanoi and performed in the European Music Festival in 2008.

The tickets are available at the theater for VND100, 000 and at VND50, 000 for students.

Source: SGGP

Bull comes back to Vietnam’s stock markets

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

Movements of VN-Index on August 13. (Photo: shares of 253 companies and five mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange rebounded on August 13, thanks to rising bottom-catching demand after the Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index sank to 440 points.

The gauge climbed 4.33 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 452.73 points. Trading volume on the city bourse slightly fell over the previous session to nearly 46 million shares. However, trading value increased to VND1.34 trillion as the prices improved.

Of the index, 141 stocks jumped, 55 dropped, while 62 treaded water.

The order of three most active shares in volume was same as the previous day. Of which, Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE) took the first rank with 1.61 million shares changing hands.

It was followed by Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB), which had 1.49 million shares traded today.

From June 18 to July 27, Dragon Financial Holdings Limited, inside shareholder of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB), registered to sell 15 million shares to restructure its investment category. However, it sold only 13.28 million shares because the prices were not as expected. Its current holdings were at 44,767,554 shares, accounting for 6.68 percent of STB’s chartered capital.

The country’s largest brokerage Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI) chased after with 1.39 million shares.

Viet Nam Golf Tourism Joint Stock Company (VNG) was the biggest gainer, advancing the daily maximum allowed limit of 5 percent to VND16,800.

From July 20 to August 15, Nguyen Minh Hai, member of the Board of Supervisors of Viet Nam Golf Tourism Joint Stock Company (VNG) sold 5,000 shares, reducing his holdings to 5,000 shares, for personal needs.

Pomina Steel Corporation (POM) capped its six-consecutive-trading-session losing streak, adding up 4.98 percent to VND31,600.

Binh Duong Trade and Development Joint Stock Company (TDC) edged up the first time in seven trading sessions. The company’s shares traded up 4.97 percent to VND33,800.

Meanwhile, construction company De Tam Joint Stock Company (DTA) collapsed 5 percent to VND22,800.

Dinh Vu Port Investment & Development Joint Stock Company (DVP) and Lilama 10 Joint Stock Company (L10) both gave up 4.99 percent to VND34,300.

Tran Van Tien, deputy general director of Lilama 10 Joint Stock Company (L10), registered to sell 27,000 shares between August 12 and October 12, sending his holdings to 112 shares, for personal needs.

Cuong Thuan Investment Corporation (CTI) sank 4.94 percent to VND40,400. The company announced that it would use the domain name instead of

The Hanoi’s HNX-Index finished at 134.97 points, rising 2.94 points, or 2.23 percent. The northern market saw 39 million shares change hands at VND963.41 billion.

The UPCoM-Index rose 0.87 points to 48.98. A total of 385,281 shares, worth VND6.41 billion, changed hands as of 11 am local time.

Source: SGGP

Sony leads Japan’s electronics makers back to black

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

TOKYO, July 29, 2010 (AFP) – Japanese electronics giant Sony on Thursday said it returned to the black in the fiscal first quarter thanks to strong sales in televisions, its PlayStation 3 console and computers.

The maker of Bravia televisions and Cyber-shot cameras reported a profit of 25.7 billion yen (293 million dollars) compared with a 37.1 billion yen loss a year ago.

Under chief executive and president Howard Stringer, the Japanese company has been streamlining operations and cutting costs to trim back the sprawling group, which was battered by the global downturn.

The electronics giant has been forced to undergo major restructuring — slashing thousands of jobs, selling facilities and turning to suppliers for parts — after seeing losses pile up as the financial crisis hit demand.

On Thursday Sony also upwardly revised its annual profit forecast by 20 percent to 60 billion yen in the year ending March 2011 despite worries over the yen’s strength versus other major currencies, which could erode profits.

The company warned that “further appreciation of the yen against the euro is expected for the remainder of the year” and revised its exchange forecast to 110 yen versus the euro, compared with 125 forecast in May.

It maintained its previous forecast of 90 yen to the dollar.

Japanese exporters remain anxious about the recent strength of the safe-haven yen versus the euro and the dollar amid ongoing uncertainty over the eurozone economy and doubts over the durability of a US recovery.

If sustained, a stronger yen could erode repatriated overseas profits and make goods more expensive overseas.

In the quarter ended June, Sony posted an operating profit of 67 billion yen compared to a loss in the same period a year ago.

The company is also banking on the mounting popularity of products that enable three-dimensional viewing.

In April it released a software update enabling the PS3 to support 3D games. Televisions showing 3D images went on sale in Japan last month.

Shares in Sony closed 0.03 percent lower in Tokyo Thursday before the earnings announcement.

Separately Toshiba Corp. said Thursday that it barely returned to the black for the first quarter on strong demand for flash memory chips used in laptops, smartphones and other gadgets.

Toshiba reported a net profit of 466 million yen, reversing a net loss of 57.8 billion yen a year earlier. Its sales for the three months rose 9.7 percent to 1.47 trillion yen.

Toshiba, whose business spans across consumer electronics, industrial components and nuclear power plants, maintained its forecast for a net profit of 70 billion yen on sales of 7.0 trillion yen for the current financial year.

Rival Sharp Corp. also said it returned to the black in the first quarter to June with a net profit of 10.7 billion yen (123 million dollars) on strong sales of liquid crystal display screens and mobile phone handsets.

It had posted a net loss of 25.2 billion yen a year earlier.

Japan’s top manufacturer of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs, marketed under the AQUOS brand, said it expected a net profit of 50 billion yen for the current financial year to March 2011, unchanged from its previous forecast.

Source: SGGP