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Confidence and pressure

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

Confidence and pressure

QĐND – Saturday, December 11, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

Development partners pledged US$7.9 billion in ODA for Vietnam in 2011 at the recent Consultative Group (CG) Meeting for Vietnam. The figure is roughly equivalent to last year’s commitment of US$8 billion. The issue now is how to use ODA effectively to avoid corollary of public debts.  

Vietnam has been recognised as a middle-income country (if annual per capita income of a country is US$950, Vietnam’s current level is now US$1,160).

Now that Vietnam has joined the global group of middle-income countries, bilateral and multilateral donors will have to find other ways of approach to provide ODA for Vietnam because the assistance policies for middle-income countries are different. This means that non-refundable aid will drop while loans with stricter conditions will increase. Consequently, Vietnam needs to manage ODA effectively so it can persuade donors to invest in the country.

The Country Director of the World Bank (WB), Victoria Kwakwa said that Vietnam is on the right track taking initiatives in its policies when it becomes a middle-income country. But the implementation of such policies remains a huge challenge. Donors agreed to hold talks with Vietnam to help it use ODA effectively without focusing on the actual amount, Mrs Kwakwa added.

Disbursement- an uphill task

Donors repeatedly mentioned the inefficient use of ODA by State-owned enterprises, citing the failure of the State-run Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group as an example. This has adversely affected Vietnam’s use of capital inflows including ODA. However, donors are still putting their confidence in Vietnam as evidenced by their pledged ODA of US$7.9 billion for next year. Donors’ confidence has put pressure on Vietnam to effectively and properly disburse and use ODA.

In 2010, around US$3 billion was disbursed and US$13.8 billion was disbursed during the 2006-2010 period, US$2 billion higher than the projected figure. Generally, donors gave positive assessments of ODA disbursement for projects in Vietnam but in fact it   was still slow.

The Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Vietnam, Ayumi Konishi, said the ADB pledged a total of US$1.5 billion for 2011 and is considering US$10 billion for the 2011-2015 period, but it is still concerned about the pace of disbursement. Therefore, accelerating the disbursement is a preparation before a project is carried out.

70 percent of Vietnam’s public debts are from ODA. Meanwhile, its public debts are reaching the end of the grace period. Despite having preferential interest rates with a grace period of 10 year under ODA commitments, Vietnam still has to clear 20 percent of its debts within 40 years. Thereby, it is crucial to use ODA effectively to avoid heavier debt burdens in the future.

Over the past 17 years, donors have pledged US$64 billion for Vietnam. According to Dr Duong Duc Ung, a senior policy advisor from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam disbursed only half of this amount and the remainder will be disbursed in the following years which will pose a heavier task.

To iron out snags in ODA disbursement, it is essential to deal with domestic procedures and make them align with those of the donors.

In addition, Vietnam needs to meet all loan conditions with interest rates lower than commercial rates and continue to focus on previous ODA-funded areas such as poverty reduction and rural and agricultural development.

The bottom line is that the country must ensure its pubic debts will be paid within the time limit or projects will likely take back their capital.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Stocks nosedive as investors lose confidence

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

Penny chips buoy investor confidence

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Movements of VN-Index on October 25. (Photo:’s benchmark VN-Index, a gauge of 264 companies and five mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, unexpectedly swam upstream on October 25 as penny-chip stocks revived, enhancing investors’ bullish sentiment.

The index finished at 448.61 points, gaining 3.4 points, or 0.76 percent.

However, liquidity on the city bourse slightly improved over the previous session. Around 28.6 million shares traded at VND735.21 billion, an increase of 5.94 percent in volume and 20.31 percent in value.

On the benchmark, 154 stocks gained, 48 dropped, while 67 treaded water.

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB) topped the list of most active shares in volume with 1.14 million shares changed hands. It was the only stock whose trading volume was above 1 million shares today.

Ocean Group Joint Stock Company (OGC) took the second rank with 829,070 shares traded.

Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI), the country’s largest brokerage, tagged along with 671,750 shares.

Camau Trading Joint Stock Company (CMV) advanced the first time after stalling for two trading sessions, jumping the daily maximum allowed limit of 5 percent to trade at VND27,300.

OPC Pharmaceutical Joint-Stock Company (OPC) climbed 4.99 percent to VND40,000.

Nari Hamico Minerals Joint Stock Company (KSS) curbed it five-consecutive-trading-session losing streak, shooting up 4.96 percent to VND27,500.

H.A.I Joint Stock Company (HAI) eroded 4.92 percent to trade at VND29,000.

Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Corporation (DCL) stumbled 4.91 percent to VND40,700.

Manulife Progressive Fund (MAFPF1) declined 4.76 percent to VND4,000.

The Hanoi’s HNX-Index edged up 0.45 points, or 0.4 percent, to 111.77 points. Trading volume severely fell over the previous day as just 20.7 million shares changed hands at VND400 billion.

The UPCoM-Index inched up 0.01 points to 42.9 points. A total of 232,200 shares were traded at a value of VND3.87 billion as of lunchtime.

Source: SGGP

Obama trying to restore confidence in economy

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm

A day after consumer concerns about the economy sent stocks sliding, President Barack Obama is trying to assure the American people that the economic recovery is headed in the right direction.

Obama is visiting Wisconsin on Wednesday to speak about the economy in Racine before taking questions in a town hall meeting.

The president is facing a public that is pessimistic about the economy. The latest Consumer Confidence Index, released Tuesday, showed its biggest drop since February and indicated Americans aren’t in the mood to spend. Those factors are worrying businesses and investors: The Dow Jones industrial average closed down nearly 270 points Tuesday.

President Barack Obama meets with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

The dip in consumer confidence underscored a key concern for the Obama administration: While there are signs the economy is recovering, that recovery isn’t reaching many Americans quickly enough. Unemployment is expected to remain around 10 percent through the end of the year, and some economists believe the jobs report due out Friday will show the economy has lost more jobs, a bleak forecast following five months of job growth.

Following a meeting of his economic advisers Tuesday, Obama acknowledged the economy still faces an uncertain future.

“We’re now seeing some headwinds and some skittishness and nervousness on the part of the market and on the part of business and investors,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

In the midst of two wars and one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history, Obama’s challenge has been keeping his administration’s work on the economy in the spotlight. That challenge could only increase as the administration moves forward on other domestic policy priorities, such as clean energy legislation and immigration reform.

Source: SGGP

Stocks recover as confidence improved

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:43 am

Movement of the VN-Index on June 16. (Photo: revival of global markets fueled Vietnam’s stock markets on June 16, helping the two major indices finish in green.

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index, a measure of 236 companies and four mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, wrapped at 510.72 points, gaining 2.71 points, or 0.53 percent.

Of the index, 154 stocks rose, 44 fell, while 42 remained unchanged.

Liquidity on the city bourse significantly improved as more than 51 million shares changed hands, worth VND1.54 trillion.

Transport Engineering Construction & Business Investment Stock Company 584 (NTB), which saw more than 3 million shares being traded today, was the most active share by volume. The company closed up 4.85 percent to VND32,400.

The Hanoi-based Ocean Group Joint Stock Company (OGC), which had topped the list for three previous consecutive sessions, dropped to the second rank with 2.17 million shares changing hands.

Vietnam Electricity Construction Joint Stock Corporation (VNE), located in the central city of Danang, came in third with 1.53 million shares.

Viet Nam – Italy Steel Joint Stock Company (VIS) rose by the daily maximum allowed limit of 5 percent to VND63,000 from VND60,000 yesterday.

South Logistics Joint Stock Company (STG) and bronze cable producer Viet – Han Corporation (VHG) both climbed up 4.97 percent to VND40,100 and VND33,800 respectively.

Losers on southern market included Construction Joint Stock Company No 5 (SC5), ceramic producer Taicera Enterprise Company (TCR), and Idico Urban and House Development Joint Stock Company (UIC).

Hanoi’s HNX-Index also performed well, gaining 3.18 points, or 1.98 points, to close at 163.63. Trading volume exceeded by 60 percent of average level in last week to reach 44.6 million shares, worth VND1.39 trillion.

The UPCoM-Index lost 0.41 points, or 0.9 percent, to 45.22 points as of 11:20 am local time. A total of 66,603 shares traded at VND1 billion.

Globally, Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 213.88 points, or 2.1 percent, to 10,404.77. S&P 500 index jumped 2.35 percent, or 25.6 points, to 1,115.23. Nasdaq advanced 2.76 percent.

FTSE 100 index inched up 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX index rose 0.82 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.81 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite index added 0.29 percent.

Source: SGGP

Gov’t spokesman express confidence in rail project, address power outages

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 2:04 am

Gov’t spokesman express confidence in rail project, address power outages

QĐND – Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 21:28 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will work with responsible ministries on June 2 to clarify issues relating to the North-South express rail project before the National Assembly votes on the $56 billion scheme later this month, according to the head of the Prime Minister’s Office,  Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Speaking at the monthly press conference on June 1, Minister Phuc said that when it assessed the the high-speed rail project, the Government concluded that it will be effective and Vietnam can find the capital needed for it.

Phuc emphasized that the technology embodied in the project will serve the nation for long into the future. Vietnam will learn from the experience of developed countries.

The capital requirement bruited for the express rail project – US$56 billion – is an estimated number, Minister Phuc said.  If the National Assembly approves the project, the government will proceed to detailed planning, and refine the financial projections.

Phuc confirmed that the Japanese Government has committed to assist Vietnam with capital and technology if the project is approved.

Phuc insisted that the implementation of the 1570 kilometer rail project will not degrade Vietnam’s ability to manage public debt. National GDP is expected to reach $200 billion by 2020, he pointed out.  The nation’s indebtedness is less than 50 percent of current GDP.  Vietnam’s public debt is safe and under control, Phuc said.  “We won’t become insolvent either in the short or the long term.”

Reporters also raised questions about widespread power cuts. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien blamed the shortfalls on low water in reservoirs owing to drought, which reduced hydropower production at the same time that hot weather increased demand for poser. The demand for electricity in May was 23 percent higher than in May 2009, Bien said. His ministry had sent three directives to Electricity of Vietnam and to provincial Departments of Industry and Trade instructing them to economise power consumption.

Bien blamed power cuts lasting up to 23 hours in parts of HCM City on “technical incidents.” The Industry Ministry is making every effort to forestall a recurrence, Bien said.

The Government also released economic statistics for May. The consumer price index (CPI) was up a modest 0.27 percent, export revenue increased by 12.6 percent year on year and the trade deficit shrank.  Of particular concern to the Government at present are higher than wanted interest rates, distortions in the real estate market, and the power outages’ negative impact on production. 

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

Consumer confidence sags

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 at 1:07 am

Consumer confidence sags

QĐND – Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 7:55 (GMT+7)

The country’s consumer confidence index dipped to 101 points in the first quarter, a drop of eight points, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index.

Consumer confidence experienced a slight adjustment after taking a steep 24-point fall in the second half of 2009.

The drop made Vietnam the 11th most confident country, down from the fourth most confident country at the end of 2009, according to the latest edition of Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by Niesel Co. between March 8 and March 26.

It polled more than 27,000 internet consumers in 55 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.

“We view this as a slight change rather than a significant decline in Vietnam confidence from the second half of 2009 results,” the report said.

Despite the slight change, Vietnam consumers are still relatively optimistic, with only 56 percent of those surveyed believing Vietnam was still in a recession, down from 69 percent in the second half of 2009.

Forty-three percent of Vietnamese believe they would be out of the recession in the next 12 months, while a notable 34 percent disagreed and another 23 percent said “don’t know.”

The Vietnamese continue to be “cautiously optimistic” as 55 percent of Vietnamese believe job prospects are good to excellent over the coming 12 months.

Despite a relatively positive outlook on jobs and finances, 54 percent of Vietnamese consumers said that this would not be the best time to buy the things they wanted or needed.

After paying for essential living expenses, 49 percent said they would put their money into savings, followed by spending on holidays/vacations (39 percent), new technology products (30 percent), home entertainment (29 percent) and home improvement (29 percent).

“Consumers in Vietnam are still hesitant to go out and spend money, yet the results indicate that there is a willingness to spend on new products. Companies that focus on value and quality and targeted promotions will be the ones to drive consumption throughout Vietnam,” said Williams.

Almost identical to their Asian neighbours, Vietnamese consumers’ top four concerns are job security (19 percent), the economy (18 percent), work/life balance (14 percent) and health (11 percent).

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

VN ranks third on HSBC Confidence Index

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 12:55 am

VN ranks third on HSBC Confidence Index

QĐND – Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

Vietnam came third out of 17 countries involved in the latest HSBC Trade Confidence Index with 132 points, followed by the UAE on 134 and India with 133.

The Southeast Asian country was place way beyond Hongkong and Singapore (both on 111), the two major financial centres in Asia.

According to the survey, foreign investors are keen on doing business as they have high hopes of a fast growing economy.

Business sentiments globally show an overall positive outlook with an average global reading of 116 on a scale from 0 to 200.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Market closes high as investors regain confidence

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 6:23 am

The VN-Index, a measure of 210 companies and four mutual funds listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, surpassed the 530 mark on March 12 as investors responded to positive information from the global stock markets.

The benchmark finished at 531.51 points, adding up 6.87 points, or 1.31 percent after slight correction on the previous day.

Among the index members, 118 stocks advanced, 40 fell, and 57 remained flat. Trading volume reached more than 55.9 million shares, changing hands at VND2.5 trillion.

Fuel supplier Petrolimex Gas JSC (PGC) was the biggest winner gaining 4.96 percent to VND25,400.

Other big gainers included Tan Cang Logistics and Stevedoring JSC (TCL) and Tan Tao Investment Industry Corporation (ITA), closing up 4.94 and 4.93 percent respectively. The latter will hold a shareholders’ meeting on April 16.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG) topped the list of most active stocks in volume with more than 3.58 million shares traded on the city bourse. The company added 4.07 percent to VND89,500.

Tan Tao Investment Industry Corporation (ITA) came next with more than 2.72 million shares traded at VND38,300. Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) which closed at VND43,900, up 4.77 percent, followed with more than 2.28 million shares.

Information and Networking Technology JSC (CMT) which gave up the maximum daily limit of 5 percent to close at VND47,500, led the losers. Next were Viky Plastic JSC (VKP), and Duc Thanh Wood Processing JSC (GDT), which manufactures, distributes and exports furniture for interior decoration.

Hanoi’s HNX-Index rose 1.75 points to finish at 173.29. More than 17.73 million shares worth more than VND575.2 billion changed hands.

UPCoM-Index also added up 0.22 points to 43.18. A total of 120,340 shares traded at VND1.6 billion.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Japan’s business confidence grows for third quarter: BoJ

In World on December 15, 2009 at 2:35 am

TOKYO, Dec 14, 2009 (AFP) – Japan’s business confidence has improved for a third straight quarter but firms plan to slash investment to cope with the fallout of the worst recession in decades, the central bank said Monday.

Sentiment among major manufacturers rose to a better-than-expected reading of minus 24 in December — the best level in a year — from minus 33 in September, according to the bank’s Tankan survey of more than 10,000 firms.

A woman walks past a luggage shop with sales signs in Tokyo on December 14, 2009. (AFP photo)

The index, which measures the percentage of firms that think business conditions are good minus those that believe they are bad, hit a record low of minus 58 in March.

Sentiment among big non-manufacturers improved to minus 22 in December from minus 24 in September.

“Companies don’t expect any double dip recession into next year,” said Susumu Kato, chief economist for Japan at Calyon Credit Agricole CIB.

Large manufacturing companies appear to be coping relatively well, despite the recent strength of the yen, he noted.

But while the mood is slightly less gloomy, companies are stepping up their planned cutbacks in spending on plants and equipment, which is likely to hobble an economy struggling to return to sustainable growth.

“The data may show signs of an improvement. But the reality is that the outlook remains severe,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, the top government spokesman. “We will continue to carefully monitor the situation.”

Large manufacturers plan to slash their capital investment by a record 28.2 percent in the year through March 2010 compared with the previous year, even more than previously anticipated, the Bank of Japan reported.

The profit outlook also remains bleak, with the major manufacturers forecasting a 34.7 percent drop in pre-tax earnings for the current financial year to March, after a 61.9 percent plunge last year.

Even so, the Tankan found that big manufacturers expect sentiment to continue to improve, forecasting a sentiment rating of minus 18 for March.

“Despite the yen’s rise, Japanese manufacturers’ business continues to improve on the back of recoveries in overseas economies such as China and the US,” said Naoki Murakami, chief economist at Monex Securities.

“Japan’s economy is likely to avoid a double-dip.”

Japan’s big exporters such as Sony and Toyota were a key driver of growth in Asia’s largest economy before the global economic crisis erupted.

Now many companies are cutting back their investment in an effort to recover from heavy financial losses inflicted by slumping sales and a soaring yen, which has dented their profits from crucial overseas markets.

Japan’s economy returned to positive growth in this year’s second quarter after a severe year-long recession.

But the government reported last week that the world’s number-two economy grew at a much slower rate than previously thought in the third quarter, re-igniting fears that the fledgling recovery could stall.

Japan’s government recently announced a fresh economic stimulus package of 274 billion dollars, including 80 billion dollars in new spending, to ward off a potential double-dip recession.

The Bank of Japan also announced this month it would pump more than 100 billion dollars into the financial system to fight deflation.

While the central bank is winding down some of its extraordinary steps to tackle the economic downturn, it is expected to maintain a highly stimulative monetary policy for some time yet to support the fragile economic recovery.

The BoJ is unlikely to raise its super-low interest rates from the current level of 0.1 percent before the middle of 2011, Calyon’s Kato said.

Investors reacted cautiously to the latest snapshot of Japan’s economy, with the Nikkei-225 stock index ending down 0.02 percent.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share